Researchers Discover Enzymes That Cause Body Odor
In a study published in the journal Nature, researchers report identifying the enzyme responsible for what they commonly call "body odor", a strong, rancid odor related to bacterial overgrowth.
Those who go to festivals and other concerts with large crowds know her well. Commonly known as "body odor," the strong, foul, and pungent body odor emanating from your armpits during an episode of intense sweating has been a puzzle to scientists until then.
While this characteristic odor, also known as bromhidrosis, has long been known to be related to compounds emitted by bacteria, it is in fact a very specific enzyme to blame.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature, researchers report identifying the enzyme responsible for this unpleasant, musty odor. The research team at York University in the UK has identified how bacteria have developed a specialized enzyme to produce some of the key molecules that we recognize in this stale body odor.
"Solving the problem with the structure of this enzyme allowed us to locate the molecular pathway within some bacteria, resulting in odor molecules. This is an important advance in understanding how body odor works, allowing the development of Specific inhibitors that stop the production of this odor at the source, without interrupting the microbiota in the armpits, "said Dr. Michelle. Rudden, lead author of the study.
Because the armpits house a complete bacterial ecosystem, it is a shame to interrupt with large strokes of antibacterial antiperspirants, which can eventually irritate and weaken the area.
The researchers further indicate in the study that the main bacteria behind body odor, Staphylococcus hominis, along with the BO enzyme in question, existed long before Homo sapiens appeared as a species. This suggests that this body odor existed before the appearance of modern humans, and may have played an important social role in primates.