The beneficial health properties of garlic are well known, but researchers at the University of Stirling and Charles University in Prague have uncovered another less well known and surprising property – that the body odour of men who eat garlic is attractive to women.
As reported in Medical Express, a new study on how women perceive men who eat garlic.
In the last garlic post, we discussed a way to increase the beneficial compounds (namely allicin) in garlic by crushing it, and allowing it to rest for 10 minutes. People who ate 5g per day of this garlic saw dramatic increases in cancer-protective genes. The route of intake in that study was crushed, mixed with butter, and spread on bread.
Several comments alluded to how badly this would make you smell, but Rob Hill and Wilbur assured us this was not the case:
Rob Hill said: I can't remember who recommended crushing garlic, leaving for 10 minutes, then swilling down with water. Its what I do everyday. 1st of all I could feel sensations in my stomach, maybe a little nausea, and the wife complained of the smell. Not any more. I can't really tell I've eaten it and no more smells!
Then Wilbur: I do not smell either. I did early on, but it went away.
Soon, a comment from a woman!
Gab Kad says: I don't believe that anyone who free bases raw garlic won't smell of it. The smell comes out in the sweat.
And our first hint that this may extend into the boudoir!
Dan says: My wife and I each blend a clove of garlic with greek yogurt, salt, and a bit of water every night. It's a fairly pleasant way to get some daily raw garlic and seems to help with sleep. And the smell fades by morning so our coworkers are spared the odoriferous effects.
And then another lady:
Gemma says: Just thinking loud here... It is interesting that more than one person reported "no garlic body smell" after eating garlic for some time. That means, no such volatile substances in "garlic adapted" people... The question is, are these garlic compounds simply used up by the body, or not actively exported any more?
And finally, from a female who knows what she likes!
Yaelle says: Garlic done right tastes and smells so good. Better than chocolate. And I love chocolate.
But, back to the research lab:
For the study, 82 women were asked to sniff the odour samples and judge them on their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity.
These guys all ate about 2 cloves of garlic, which had little noticeable effect on their "attractiveness." But when doubled to 4 cloves of garlic, wowzer! The men were reported to smell more attractive.
Craig Roberts, Professor of Psychology at the University of Stirling, said: "Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on the pleasure derived from perceived body odour perhaps due to its health effects.
"From an evolutionary perspective, formation of preferences for diet-associated body odours was possibly shaped by means of sexual selection. Previous research indicates that many animal species use diet-associated cues to select mates in good physical condition.
"As the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immunostimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal and anti-cancer effects, it is plausible that human odour preferences have been shaped by sexual selection.
So, there you have it. Maybe people are smelling the garlic, but just not mentioning it, because deep down, they like it.
This will be my last post until classes start back up in February. Hope you all have a great Winter and holidays!