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Thursday, January 15, 2009

About metabolic body odor

Introduction to the concept (to be updated/edited as and when):

Metabolic body odor, or systemic body odor or bloodborne body odor. They all have the same outcome.

They mean odorous compounds are circulating in the main circulation for some reason.

There can be a number of reasons for this. Some examples would be :

Some weakness in a (most likely, Hepatic) cell enzyme that neutralizes odorous compounds, allowing the compounds to enter the main circulation

Overload of odorous compound(s), causing 'untreated' compounds to circulate in the main system (same outcome as above). An obvious example of this would be that some people smell of curry after eating curry meals.

Perhaps a combination of both
Possibly these are the 3 main reasons, but nobody probably knows. most people with this problem seem healthy apart from smelling, so liver problems seem unlikely.

The only 2 'accepted' 'benign' examples of metabolic body odor probably are
1: Trimethylaminuria
2: Dimethylglycinuria (one pubmed paper)

It's likely that these 2 may not be the only types of metabolic body odor. Many people mention smelling fecal or gas or sewage or various spectrum's of smells. Trimethylamine wouldn't seem to explain all these various smells.

Only TMAU is occasionally investigated by a handful of researchers around the world. You could say the problem is quite neglected. Geneticists estimate perhaps up to 1% could be 'at risk' of poor FMO3 function. It's told to anyone interested that it's an autosomal recessive disorder, but some studies are casting doubt on this too.

At this point, there are those diagnosed with TMAU who believe this is their sole problem, so they at least have a diagnosis and treatment protocol. For the rest, currently we don't have any diagnosis, and this is the stage we are at.

It's probably best the community empower themselves to create research and awareness, rather than rely on anything currently and in the future offered by the system (for those few that are even aware). Probably a lot more could be done.

Fecal body odor/Gas body odor
Special mention is given to these types of body odors, which seem to be 'intestine-derived' body odors, where the smelly chemicals somehow seem to be circulating in the main bloodstream. In theory some smells may be 'internally' (endogenously) produced. For instance it's now known hydrogen sulfide is produced in the main system (as a 'gasotransmitter'). But most of the smells would seem to be obviously sourced from the gut. At the moment this is an unknown disorder to the medical system, but seems to be the most common form on body odor forums. For any experts who think it's impossible, again the 'curry meal' principle seems to disprove this. As with trimethylaminuria (which is also intestine sourced), the obvious starting points to a theory are that for some reason there is an inefficiency in the 'filtering' process (the liver , mostly. Most likely to do with one or more hepatic cell enzyme) or that there is a large abnormal dysbiosis of the gut flora, which leads the a large amount of the smelly chemicals in particular being produced (or else it is a unique particular dysbiosis with this condition). Or perhaps a bit of both. At the moment it is anyone's guess.

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