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Researchers claim that adolescence causes a distinct odor in the armpits of teens, resembling cheese, goat, and urine.

Researchers claim that adolescence causes a distinct odor in the armpits of teens, resembling cheese, goat, and urine.

German scientists have found that during puberty, the underarms of teenagers emit odors resembling cheese, goat, and urine.

The specific chemical compounds that create teenage body odor have been identified, for those interested in bottling the scent.

This finding could have practical applications in developing deodorants that cover up these specific odors. It has also provided an explanation for why babies have a pleasant scent.

This research involved examining infants aged 0-3 years and teenagers aged 14-18, and discovered that the teenagers had two distinct chemical compounds in their sweat that emitted aromas of sweat, urine, musk, and sandalwood. These compounds were not present in the infants. In contrast, the infants had elevated levels of a ketone that produced a floral and soapy scent.

Helene Loos and her team at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Germany created modified T-shirts and babygrows by adding cotton pads sewn under the armpits. These garments were worn by children at night after washing with products that did not have any scent.

The adolescents’ underarm pads contained two steroids – 5alphaandrost-16-en-3-one and 5alphaandrost-16-en-3alpha-ol – that produced odors of sweat, urine, musk, and sandalwood. They also contained elevated levels of six carboxylic acids, known for giving off unpleasant scents such as cheese, goat, and wax.

Infants’ samples had increased amounts of the ketone alpha-isomethyl ionone, which emits a floral and soapy scent with a subtle note of violet.

During puberty, hormone fluctuations lead to an escalation in body scent due to the increased activity of sweat glands and production of sebum. The substances found in sweat can quickly transform into a gas, resulting in a noticeable odor.

The Aroma and Smell Research Facility at Erlangen-Nürnberg reported that alterations in body scent during growth can impact the bond between parents and their children. They stated, “Mothers find the natural scent of their infants to be delightful and gratifying, which may help foster a loving relationship.”

On the other hand, the smells produced by pubescent children are considered less pleasant and parents are not capable of recognizing their own child during this period of growth.

The research involved 36 participants who were divided evenly between infants and teenagers. Parents were instructed to avoid feeding the children foods with strong odors, like onion, asparagus, and cabbage, on the day of the study. They were also asked to use unscented products for bathing and laundry.

The scientists utilized mass spectrometry to analyze the chemical substances present on the armpit pads. After extracting the compounds and conducting additional tests, a trained evaluator employed their sense of smell to identify scents.

Source: theguardian.com