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Eating meat and Body Odour

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  • Eating meat and Body Odour

    G'day all,

    So I was a vegetarian for 15 years, recently started eating meat again about 4 months ago.

    I used to not smell, at all. I'd travel a lot in outback Australia, often without water to 'waste' on washing, I found that it would take 5-7 days before I could get a whiff of my pits and think 'yep, time to waste some of that water...'. I was always proud of that, I felt clean, and never really had to worry about myself (Yes, in normal life I shower daily, don't go getting the wrong picture here!). HOWEVER, since eating meat I notice a distinct odour at the end of each day, not too offensive, and probably not noticeable to anyone more than a few inches away from me, but still, I'm very aware of it, more so since I recently started dating again and am actually a bit paranoid about it!

    Is this just a normal part of meat-eating life for a man (nothing else in my diet has changed too significantly), or is it a sign that I've possibly got something out of balance somewhere?

    ...I'd REALLY appreciate any input on this, especially with a special date coming up next week!

  • #2
    Vegetarian animals do not have the same stomach-turning odors in their dung as do carnivores. I suggest this is a normal state of affairs for vegans turned paleo carnivorish. Either use a good deodorant, or wash oftener. Besides, research points to male sweat proving appealing to many women of reproductive age. Enjoy I while you can.;-)


    • #3
      Just speculating, but my guess is your meat consumption is providing your body with hormones, lacking before. Some body odor is hormonally based. Perfectly natural, but offensive, by modern perceptions.
      Stop by to visit at
      Old Paths ... New Journeys


      • #4
        I have a fairly acute sense of smell, and I think vegetarians smell worse than anybody, on the whole. Then again, anybody with constant bowel distress will smell.

        The smell you're talking about is totally different. I think you're just saying 'yucky' to a perfectly normal and even healthy smell. I don't know why you'd want to wear deodorant over that, unless you are entirely shamed of your manhood. A good healthy smell is an attractive smell, not a repulsive one (unless maybe your partner too has been persuaded by mall booth salesmen).


        • #5
          It is quite possible that you *always* smelled, but just got so used to your own smell that you didn't notice it anymore. I had a friend who did that... he didn't figure it out until someone pointed it out to him. Everybody smells, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but it is very easy to stop noticing something that you smell all the time. Now, your smell have changed, and you can tell a difference.

          Ask a friend if you used to smell. Maybe it will be an eye opener.


          • #6
            As the ad says - Are you noseblind? Heheheh


            • #7
              Hey, thanks for the replies, somehow I'd completely missed them! I think you're on to something re the 'natural' odour, and probably just noticing the change in hormone etc. I don't like the fake smell of deodorants, nor the amount of chemicals in them, I've been using mineral crystals for about ten years now and could never go back to a commercial deoderant.

              As a bit of an update, the odour has settled down quite significantly, this could been of two things:
              a) I was hitting the meat pretty hard when I first went back, I've slowly levelled out my intake and found the amount of meat which seems to work well for me, so maybe my body was just in overload-mode, trying to get the excess meat out through every possible pore.
              b) ...I've just grown accustomed to my new smell...

              Either way, thanks for the positive and understanding replies, I really appreciate them.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paysan View Post
                Vegetarian animals do not have the same stomach-turning odors in their dung as do carnivores.
                Not sure where you get this from but as a hunter, trapper and growing up on farm, I can assure you this just isn't generally true.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Grok On Wheels View Post
                  a) I was hitting the meat pretty hard when I first went back ....
                  Yeah, maybe. But you probably need to ask a biochemist rather than quiz a message board.

                  There is, however, an interesting divergence between the Paleo folks and the LCHF (low carb, high fat) crowd, even though both camps share much in common.

                  Prof. Cordain generally prefers to sell Paleo as a "high protein, low glycemic index diet". The low carb people, by contrast, believe that a high protein intake may be even more harmful than a high carb intake. (Mark himself seems to sit somewhere between the Paleo and the LCHF world, and I honestly don't know what his current opinion is.)

                  Here's a representative view from the LCHF world:


                  It's an interesting view, and Dr. Rosedale is certainly both well-informed and a persuasive writer/speaker.

                  I guess if one does eat an excessive amount of protein then the excess nitrogenous material has to be dealt with. And … whoops! …

                  Excretion is the process by which waste products of metabolism and other non-useful materials are eliminated from an organism. In vertebrates this is primarily carried out by the lungs, kidneys and skin.

                  Is ammonia put out through the skin? I don't know. I have some background in chemistry, but that was a long time ago, and biochemistry I've never studied. Likely enough. Ask a biochemist.

                  What I can tell you is that the bacteria that oxidise ammonia are present in the skin microbiome in all human populations—except modern human populations. It seems that it's our "personal hygiene products" that kill them. That's ironic, isn't it? It's for the most part the preservatives that are added to ensure shelf-life that do it in my understanding. (And, incidentally, it's not surprising that many people in the Ancestral Health world also eventually go ancestral as regards hygiene as well as diet, preferring saunas and cold plunges and showers with a minimum of soap and shampoo and no antiperspirants or deodorants, perhaps occasionally making use of bentonite clay or very dilute solutions made up from household products like bicarb or cider vinegar.)

                  There's a U.S.-based company that sells a product called AO+ mist (and here AO stands for "Ammonia Oxidising [bacteria]"). So you spray these bacteria on yourself and these ones are capable of oxidising ammonia—and hence of stopping you smell. i would try the product myself—here it is:


                  —but I'm in the UK and it's too darn expensive once you add overseas mail on.

                  But I think your answer may be there. You may have lost your ammonia oxidising bacteria from your skin microbiome. You may also be excreting more ammonia than usual through your skin, owing to an excessive protein consumption. The two together might add up to a problem.

                  But, as I say, run this past a biochemist, because that's not an area I've studied myself.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by twa2w View Post
                    Not sure where you get this from but as a hunter, trapper and growing up on farm, I can assure you this just isn't generally true.
                    Also been a farmer for many years. Animals on their natural diets (let's compare apples with apples here) have distinctive odors. Pastured animal dung (not the fermented animal dung piled in strawy pens) is tolerable, even fresh alfalfa cow dung. Omnivore dung is a blend of vegetarian and animal feeds; so varies enormously. Carnivore dung is so bad that big cat dens advertise their existence from yards downwind. Small wonder housecats bury their foul output. ;-)


                    • #11
                      I can always smell what I eat in my sweat and pee just fine, bacon included. I think it varies from person to person.
                      Crohn's, doing SCD


                      • #12
                        Asparagus does a number on me, but sometimes chicken does as well. Not so much bacon, but sometimes pork chops. All CAFO stuff.


                        • #13
                          Thanks for some really insightful comments! Interesting points about washing and our natural 'biome, I spent a day on the road on Tuesday and caught up with some podcasts, one was an episode from The Whole Life Challenge where they discussed soaps and deodorants etc, very interesting. I've always been a fairly 'natural' washer, ie, not a lot of soaps etc (mainly because I didn't smell, so I didn't need it!), but have started lathering up more in the past six months ->taking in more protein + more strength training = smell. Smell = desire to not smell. Desire + extra soap = more smell??? I dunno, I reckon the science is there in that equation

                          In all seriousness, I think it has really settled down now, finding the balance in my diet has me experiencing a natural odour, which has received no complaints, much nicer than the 'body trying to expel excess meat through the arm-pits' pong!