Dr. Ron’s Research Review – June 26, 2019

©

This week’s research review focuses on garlic for body odor.

An article published in the journal Appetite described three studies testing the effect of garlic consumption on the quality of axillary odor. (Fialová et al., 2016)
The studies varied the amount and nature of garlic provided (raw garlic in study 1 and 2, garlic capsules in study 3). A balanced within-subject experimental design was used.
In total, 42 male odor donors were allocated to either a "garlic" or "non-garlic" condition, after which they wore axillary pads for 12 h to collect body odor. One week later, the conditions were reversed. 82 women judged the odor samples for their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity.
No significant differences were found in ratings of any characteristics in study 1. However, the odor of donors after an increased garlic dosage was assessed as significantly more pleasant, attractive and less intense (study 2), and more attractive and less intense in study 3.
These results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on perceived body odor hedonicity, perhaps due to its health effects (e.g., antioxidant properties, antimicrobial activity).

Dr. Ron

 


Articles

 

Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour.
(Fialová et al., 2016)  Download
Beneficial health properties of garlic, as well as its most common adverse effect - distinctive breath odour - are well-known. In contrast, analogous research on the effect of garlic on axillary odour is currently missing. Here, in three studies varying in the amount and nature of garlic provided (raw garlic in study 1 and 2, garlic capsules in study 3), we tested the effect of garlic consumption on the quality of axillary odour. A balanced within-subject experimental design was used. In total, 42 male odour donors were allocated to either a "garlic" or "non-garlic" condition, after which they wore axillary pads for 12 h to collect body odour. One week later, the conditions were reversed. Odour samples were then judged for their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity by 82 women. We found no significant differences in ratings of any characteristics in study 1. However, the odour of donors after an increased garlic dosage was assessed as significantly more pleasant, attractive and less intense (study 2), and more attractive and less intense in study 3. Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on perceived body odour hedonicity, perhaps due to its health effects (e.g., antioxidant properties, antimicrobial activity).

References

Fialová, J, SC Roberts, and J Havlíček (2016), ‘Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour.’, Appetite, 97 8-15. PubMed: 26551789