Long ago, nature provided us with strong smells to entice the opposite sex. But BO won't get you far today.

The problem starts with certain types of sweat. Eccrine glands produce clear, neutral-smelling sweat, which cools your body as it evaporates. Apocrine glands, concentrated in your armpits and groin, secrete a substance that bacteria feast on, causing strong odours, which can be got rid of.

What causes body odour?

Stress, ovulation, sexual excitement and anger can cause the apocrine glands to kick into overdrive. Some diseases cause the body to produce particular odours, as do some drugs, such as the antidepressant venlafaxine (Effexor) and bupropion (Zyban), a drug used to aid nicotine withdrawal.

Excessive sweating

Someone who sweats frequently or heavily could have an overactive thyroid gland, low blood sugar or a problem with the part of the nervous system that controls sweating. If you think you are sweating too much or that a medical condition might be causing body odour, see your doctor. And if you are taking a prescription medication that might be contributing to excessive body odour, then ask your doctor about switching to different medication.

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