Fact or Fiction: Underarm Odor

Estimated Completion Time
1 min
Fact or Fiction: Underarm Odor
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Michael Monu

About This Quiz

We've all been there, and it's never pleasant. A hot day, a stressful situation -- and suddenly you realize you have some major B.O. What makes your underarms stink, and what can you do about it?
Bromhitosis is the scientific name for body odor.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's bromhidrosis.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Bromhidrosis is the scientific name.

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A hormone called androgen contributes to body odor -- it becomes active in the body when you hit puberty.
fact
fiction
almost fact: The hormone is called androsterone.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Androgen it is.

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Sweat alone is odorless, but androgen makes it smell.
fact
fiction
almost fact: Sweat does have a slight odor, and androgen intensifies it.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Sweat is indeed odorless, but it's breeding bacteria that you smell.

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To fight odor, you can wipe your underarms with a solution of one tablespoon of peroxide to one cup of water.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's one teaspoon of peroxide.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A teaspoon of peroxide in a cup of water could help get rid of the smelly bacteria.

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Eating garlic, curry and onions could cause body odor.
fact
fiction
almost fact: Garlic and curry are common culprits, but onions don't have an effect.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Everyone is different, of course, but all three of these foods are known to increase B.O.

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In a study of men in the Czech Republic, beer consumption was shown to have an adverse effect on B.O.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It was red meat, not beer.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Women who sniffed pads that had been swiped in the men's underarms (ewww) reported more unpleasant odors from the men who had eaten red meat.

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Men have a better nose for body odor than women do.
fact
fiction
almost fact: Young men are the best at sniffing out B.O., but the ability decreases with age.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

A 2009 study showed that women are sharper odor-detectors.

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Aluminum chloride is the active ingredient in antiperspirants that reduces sweating.
fact
fiction
almost fact: Aluminum chloride doesn't stop you from sweating -- it just gets rid of the smell.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The aluminum chloride in antiperspirants reduces your sweating -- deodorants get rid of the smell.

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There are two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine are the ones under your arms (and groin and scalp).
fact
fiction
almost fact: The ladocrine glands are in your underarms, groin and scalp.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

It's actually the apocrine glands that develop in the areas of your body that have a lot of hair follicles. This is the type of sweat that smells when bacteria break it down.

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If you have diabetes and your underarm odor changes, it could be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis.
fact
fiction
almost fact: It's probably just means that your blood sugar is a little low.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Diabetic ketoacidosis happens when there's no sugar left for the body to burn and it starts using fat instead. When this happens, a person's body odor can become "fruity."

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You Got:
/10
© iStockphoto.com/Michael Monu