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Blog Archive

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

1996 trimethylaminuria paper : What % of people would fail the trimethylaminuria urine test in a sample population ?

1996 pubmed paper: 3.8% fail the 90% trimethylaminuria urine test in a British sample of 421 people (Mitchell, Smith, Zhang - Imprerial College London)

Since there is no interest from the medical system in metabolic body odors and halitosis apart from some occasional studies into trimethylaminuria (There are 5 listed on pubmed for 'trimethylaminuria' this year. 10 last year. Most of little significance) done by researchers who study lots of other things. The only estimates used is probably a 'DNA estimate' by geneticists, who at the 1999 1st TMAU Workshop mentioned they thought maybe 1% could be at risk (it's unknown if they are going by the 'strict' interpretation, that all sufferers will be autosomal recessive e.g. homozygotes).

However, there was a substantial 'real' snapshop testing survey done amongst a sample 'normal' British population In 1996 at the Imperial college in London, by 3 researchers. They tested 421 students of Imperial College Medical School at St. Mary's, London using the TMAU urine test. In the UK, they define a 'fail' as being less than 90% TMA-N-Oxide produced, and less than 80% as being "indicative of potential heterozygous status for deficient N-oxidation-fish odour syndrome" (which is surprising to read, since if medical students were taught about TMAU, they would likely be taught it is autosomal recessive e.g. homozygous)

The results were:
421 of a UK sample population tested
16 failed the 90% test (3.8% : seven male, nine female)
6 failed the 80% test (1.4% : all female)

So in a sample British population, 3.8% failed the urine test. 1.4% were not near the borderline. Nowadays, some researchers feel that it will be likely that people can pass the urine test but fail the test "in vivo" (i.e. in practice). 2 of the researchers are well known for publishing TMAU papers (especially around that time and the following few years), although they both likely have many other lines of research, and this is the only part of metabolic body odor they will focus on whenever they choose to do research along this line.

It makes you wonder how, for example, a Body Odor & Halitosis Research and Treatment Center would have reacted to such a study at the time. And how far the issue would have progressed both in treatment and how governments and medical systems would now view the issue.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8893042

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