If you are bogged down with body odour after exercise, make it a point to wear cotton clothes instead of polyester before you go out, a study suggests.
Polyester clothes smell worse than cotton, following intensive exercise by their wearers, because bacteria that cause odour grow better on polyester, the findings showed.
"The main culprits are micrococci, which are bacteria, able to grow better on polyester," said first author Chris Callewaert from the Ghent University in Belgium.
"They are known for their enzymatic potential to transform long-chain fatty acids, hormones and amino acids into smaller, volatile compounds, which have a typical mal-odour," Callewaert explained.
In the study, the investigators collected t-shirts from 26 healthy individuals following an intensive, hour-long spinning session, and incubated the shirts for 28 hours before having them inspected by a trained odour panel.
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The researchers also investigated the taxonomy of the bacteria on the shirts.
Wearing cotton clothes will reduce the problem of body odour somewhat, noted Callewaert, who also advised people with smelly armpits to avoid overusing anti-perspirants, which he said can encourage enrichment of the odour causing corynebacteria in the axillae.
"That is what I have heard from people with body odour - the more they use it, the worse it eventually got," he said.
The study is forthcoming in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.