Excessive bacteria is a major contributor to body odor. According to radio talk show host and practicing physician Dr. Gabe Merkin, an individual experiencing unusual body odor is likely to have an infection. The infection causes bacteria known as “Heliocobacter” to create an ammonia-type odor and occurs from eating too much protein. According to, bacteria is a known cause of all types of body odor. For example, bacteria growing between the teeth and gums causes bad breath or halitosis.


Experts state bacteria builds up when the body is lacking oxygen. Poor metabolism and a sluggish digestive system can contribute to body odor as the body works to rid itself of waste and toxins. If internal organs such as the liver or kidneys are blocked or clogged, this will directly result in odor being secreted from the body. Sweating is a normal bodily function allowing the body to cool itself naturally; however, odor occurs when a bacterial infection is present and toxins are excreted through the sweat glands.

Treatment explains bacteria can only thrive and grow in areas of moisture, particularly the armpits. They recommend individuals suffering from body odor use antiperspirants, since these products tend to keep the area drier than deodorants which simply mask the odor. Though the use of deodorants or antiperspirants is not treatment for a bacterial infection, they can temporarily help mask the body odor and kill low levels of bacteria. If diagnosed with a bacterial infection, Dr. Merkin states an antibiotic is typically prescribe. Other recommendations to inhibit body odor include changing your diet. Dr. Merkin suggests eating less protein to prevent bacterial infection. Avoid eating foods high in sulfur such as garlic and egg that easily contribute to odor problems.


Personal hygiene is essential in combating body odor. The body should be washed regularly and particular attention should be paid to specific areas such as underarms, groin and feet. Anti-bacterial soap can be helpful to rid the skin of excess dirt and toxins. Additionally, recommends using both underarm deodorant to stop bacterial growth, as well as antiperspirants which help to block the sweat ducts and produce less sweat and bacteria.


If body odor persists after treatment, it may be a warning that a serious medical condition is present. If the body is generating an unusual odor such as a “fishy” odor or “fecal” breath, this is an indication of a bacterial infection and an immediate consultation with a physician is advised.