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How to Get Rid of Bad Body Odor

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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2022

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Do you have a problem with body odor? Do your armpits smell if you don’t use deodorant or antiperspirant (or both) at least once a day? Do you have bad breath or smelly farts?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, I have good news for you: the problem can be solved. 

But before we get to the solution, let’s talk about the cause — and let me explain how I got to thinking about smelly armpits and related issues in the first place.

Although I’ve never had problems with general body odor, I have always had to use a deodorant to prevent my armpits from smelling. Years ago, I used a regular deodorant that doubled as an antiperspirant. Of course, the problem with those products is that they contain toxins that are bad for your brain and that disrupt your endocrine system. 

(I’ve written all about that in my article about how xenoestrogens make you fat, sick and infertile.)

When my wife and I realized that we were poisoning ourselves on a daily basis, we dumped most of our personal care products and replaced them with natural, non-toxic alternatives. Unfortunately, the problem is there’s no effective, natural antiperspirant — you need neuro-toxins such as aluminum to clog your sweat pores for that. 

Still, there are plenty of natural deodorants that can prevent your armpits from smelling. The downside to most of these natural products is that they leave nasty stains on your clothing that are hard to get out. 

So I decided to do an experiment by not using any deodorant for a few days to see whether my armpits would smell.

And guess what? They don’t. Not even after intense CrossFit workouts that make me look like someone just dumped a bucket of water over my head.

I sweat profusely whenever I use my infrared sauna.

My wife and her brother decided to join my experiment to see if my results were a coincidence or if our lifestyle had something to do with it.

But let me back up for a moment. A few weeks ago, my wife’s brother came to visit and stay with us for a couple of months to help me record more YouTube videos (he does all of the editing) and to fully immerse himself in the Kummer lifestyle. In other words, he wanted to adopt our way of eating, exercising and sleeping. Think of it as the ultimate healthy living bootcamp.

Needless to say, we got him a bunch of natural skincare products (the same ones we use). Unfortunately, he turned out to be allergic to all of the deodorants we got for him. And he told us that despite wanting to avoid toxins, he really needed to use deodorant to prevent his armpits from wreaking (especially on days he worked out).

So we made a compromise: he agreed to not use any products under his armpits, to see if the allergy would subside. And we agreed to deal with the smell (for a few days…) if his experiment didn’t work out.

A couple of days later, the three of us got together for a sniff test and none of us had smelly armpits.

So I decided to dig a bit deeper to figure out if there could be a connection between our lifestyles (and dietary factors in particular) and the lack of smelly armpits.

As it turns out, there is. Without going too deep down the rabbit hole, there are special sweat glands (apocrine glands) located in your groin and armpits which produce sweat that can start smelling when it comes in contact with the bacteria on your skin

In other words, the sweat itself doesn’t smell — it’s the waste product of the bacteria’s metabolism that smells bad (depending on the type and composition of that bacteria).

It’s the exact same principle behind why some people have bad breath or stinky farts — the bacteria in their mouth and gut produce foul-smelling chemicals.

If you’ve read my blog post from a couple of years ago on the importance of maintaining a healthy gut microbiome, you might remember that there are countless microbes (including bacteria) living on our skin, our mucus membranes and inside our gut. That delicate ecosystem of microbes is interconnected, as Dr. Alan Danenberg — a board-certified periodontist and functional medicine practitioner — explained in the recent interview I conducted with him

If one area of that microbiome (e.g., your gut) is out of balance, chances are that your mouth and skin aren’t healthy either. 

I’m of the firm opinion that healthy humans shouldn’t be smelling bad. In other words, neither our sweat, gas or mouth should have a foul odor to it. Bad smell is a sign that something is wrong — either with the bacterial composition in the microbiome itself (e.g., overgrowth of bad bacteria) or with the food you’re consuming.

So after having discovered that neither my wife, her brother or I have smelly armpits even without using deodorants (it’s been almost a week now since I last used one), I hypothesize that our skin’s microbiome is healthy, thanks to our lifestyles and the food we eat.

Before we wrap it up, let me emphasize that there are several other reasons (beyond an unhealthy skin microbiome) why you (or your armpits) might smell — including the consumption of certain foods. 

For example, the chemicals in certain spices like curry and cumin, as well as sulfuric acid (a by-product of digesting certain vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower), can cause your sweat to smell bad (and likely more so if the bacterial composition of your skin is off).

If you suffer from persistently bad body odor and there is no obvious clinical reason for it (e.g., a rotten tooth), you might have a lifestyle-induced imbalance of the microbiome in your gut, mouth or skin.

Besides chronic stress, substance abuse and the consumption of alcohol, the food you eat plays a major role in determining the health of your microbiome. To fix the problem, I suggest an elimination diet for at least 30 days to give your gut a chance to heal and your microbiome an opportunity to rebalance. 

The best way to get started is to remove all foods that contain antinutrients and other defense chemicals that are known to stress the delicate lining inside of your gut, because your skin and mouth can’t be healthy if your gut isn’t. 

If you’re new to this newsletter and don’t know what I consider to be a species-appropriate diet for humans, check out this blog post

In a nutshell, the Kummer tribe’s diet is centered around regeneratively-raised animals, including muscle meat, fat and organs, raw honey, raw A2 dairy, sweet seasonal fruits and a very limited amount of vegetables.

The Kummer tribe is thriving on this diet, as proved in part by the fact that we smell how humans are supposed to smell and don’t need chemicals or compounds.  

(It should go without saying, but we do shower on a regular basis using plain bar soap. See this page for a list of products we use at home.)

If nothing else has worked for you to get rid of your smelly armpits, bad breath or stinky farts, changing your dietary habits might be worth a try. 

For me, waking up without having morning breath, not having to be afraid to raise my arms and expose my armpits because I’m worried they might smell, and not smelling like a dead rat when passing gas is an added bonus to knowing that the food I eat is contributing to my optimal health.

So give it a try and let me know what transformation you’ve experienced.

New Articles and Videos You Might Have Missed

Since the last newsletter, I’ve been busy creating new content and updating older articles with fresh information, including the following:

That’s it for March!

Stay healthy,

Michael

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