Hello Dr. Armpit, I have really enjoyed the work you have done to promote your research through this site, it's nice to have direct access to a researcher who can communicate with people on their wavelength. I've noticed you have not been able to answer many questions in the past few months. While I do have a story, like many others, I am more curious to know about some particular questions. What are your thoughts on the research being done by AOBiome (www.motherdirt.com)? How would the Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria in the AO+ Mist product reduce odour (as reported by some users)? Does chlorophyll actually reduce body odour? What mechanisms are at play for this to occur? Has any research been done on anaerobic bacteria that cause body odour? I've noticed that some fabrics will smell just due to heat exposure, not necessarily humidity. Lastly, you've mentioned that you had a an experience that led to you starting your research. What solutions worked for you?
Dear Minnie, thank you for your questions. Sorry for the delay, it is indeed about time to answer the questions. To answer your questions: AOBiome has a good concept, they question the cosmetic norm and embrace the human skin microbiome. However, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria do not naturally occur on the skin and ammonia is not a major sweat secretion product nor plays a major role in body odor development. The product can nonetheless have an effect, which they are now studying. I know they are analyzing microbial samples and hope to see the outcomes in near future. To answer your second question: the uptake of chlorophyll on it own will probably not have an effect on body odor. What might help is the complete adjustment of the nutritional pattern. Nutrition has an effect on body odor development, although the effect is minimal as compared to the bacterial and sweat effect. In this research, they showed that vegetarians smelled better than meat consumers: males who were put on a two-week vegetarian diet (without any meat) smelled better than males who were put on a two-week diet with daily portions of red meat. Consequently, eating less meat and more vegetables (= more chlorophyll) can lead towards a better underarm odor. Regarding the anaerobic bacteria, I can say that they are very important in underarm malodor. At our lab, we are investigating their effect. Anaerobic bacteria occupy the (apocrine) sweat glands and the hair follicles, from where the malodor generation starts. Regarding the fabrics: volatile and non-volatile compounds can adhere to the fabrics. With heat, they are released from the textile and can emite an odor. Next to that, bacteria also occupy the textiles and can survive dry conditions. As such, upon wearing and adding nutrition and moisture, the bacteria can start working again and emit malodor. Indeed, my underarm microbiome changed to a dominance of corynebacteria. After three years, I was able to change it back to a dominance of non-odorous bacteria. This happened in summer, while painting and renovating the house, and by co-incidence. I was also working constantly with my arms, with one and the same painters T-shirt. After showering, I wore again the same unwashed painters T-shirt to proceed the 'dirty' work. This helped in taking over the shirt microbiome, from which afterwards we got to know mainly the 'good' bacteria grew in.
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