Roman Emperor Galerius, who ruled from 305 to 311, was a cruel monarch who persecuted early Christians and as a result had divine retribution visited upon him. Whatever his disease was, it caused his flesh to rot and his intestines to become filled with worms, so that he exuded "such a pestiferous stink, that no man could abide him," as the religious historian John Foxe described it. Some think that Galerius suffered from a condition called Fournier's gangrene made worse by his apparent diabetes. Eventually, Galerius reluctantly eased up on his persecutions, but it was too late. He was dead soon after issuing his Edict of Toleration.
Body odor generally starts with perspiration, especially in the armpits and groin which provide nourishment for bacteria that give off unpleasant-smelling waste products. In most cases, regular bathing and use of a deodorant or antiperspirant can control the problem. But sometimes there are other causes such as disease, diet and the use of certain medications. Some of these are:
Trimethylaminuria - a rare genetic disorder in which the body is unable to break down the chemical compound trimethylamine. The result is that patients give off a very strong fish-like smell. There's no cure, but people may be able to curb the odor by avoiding certain products supplements and antibiotics.
Old people smell - old folks who emit an odor reminiscent of mothballs or musty, old books. It's believed to be caused by changes in skin glands and their secretions as we grow older. There is some good news though...volunteer smell-testers rated the odor of old men as less unpleasant than the body odor of middle-aged men.
Oral contraceptives may alter a females' sense of smell - a 2008 study showed that being on birth control pills can affect a woman's taste in men. Women were asked to smell T-shirts worn by men and pick the ones they were most attracted to. They overwhelmingly picked ones for men whose immune systems were different from theirs. However, when the women were on the birth control pill, they tended to pick men with similar immune systems.
Foods containing curry, garlic and various other spices are metabolized by your body to produce stinky chemicals such as sulfur, which ooze out of your pores to create a pungent body odor. Also, some food ingredients such as capsaicin, the hot pepper used in Buffalo-style chicken wings, stimulates the nerve receptors in your mouth and tricking your nervous system into thinking that your body is overheated causing you to sweat in an effort to cool down.
Various types of cancer can cause the development of necrotic lesions or dead, rotting tissue that gives off a powerful odor.
Diabetes can be a cause of body odor. When untreated, it can cause a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis. Without enough insulin to regulate the metabolism, the body starts to break down fat for fuel. This causes a sickeningly sweet aroma comparable to decomposing apples. It's most obvious on a person's breath, but it's also given off by the body as well.
Typhoid fever patients emit a smell comparable to freshly baked brown bread.
In an animal study published in 2014 researchers demonstrated that immunization can trigger a distinct change in scent in animals. Scientists believe that humans and animals may give off these odors as a way of signaling to other members of their species that they are infected with disease.
Eating a lot of red meat can effect your aroma. In a 2006 study published male subjects ate a diet containing red meat and sweated into pads which women volunteers then sniffed. The subjects then switched to a diet without red meat and were subjected to a second smell test for comparison. The odor of donors on the non-meat diet was judged as significantly more attractive, more pleasant and less intense.
Olfactory Reference Syndrome - psychiatric disorder characterized by a false belief that you have a bad body odor. Your nose picks up the chemicals that create aromas, but the brain tells you what the smell is. That's one reason that patients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders sometimes experience a loss of their olfactory abilities.
5 Things Your Body Odor Says About You
Stinking Hollywood Celebrities