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Older People Have A Special Smell And Here Is Where It Comes From

Older People Have A Special Smell And Here Is Where It Comes From

You may have noticed that older people could have a special smell. A kind of grass or grease fragrance, noticeable in all nursing homes and other similar places. Thus, many mistakenly think that this smell is due to lack of hygiene or insufficient nutrition. However, scientists say that this is actually a very natural reaction of our skin to the passing of time. Explanations.

Like all body odors, the smell emanating from the elderly is the product of a chemical reaction of the skin. Over time, oxidative decomposition causes a special odor in humans that is akin to fat or grass. So this is a very natural phenomenon that we all (or almost all) have to face one day or another.

To better understand the origin of these smells
It's no longer a secret, our metabolism changes over time and passing years. Thus, the skin, which is the most widespread and largest organ of our body, is clearly affected. Indeed, a study published by the Journal of Investigative Dermatology showed that this odor was actually related to an increase in 2-nonenal, a chemical compound associated with aging. The latter is released when omega-7 monounsaturated fatty acids that are naturally present in the skin oxidize and degrade.

 Thus, from age 40, the skin of women and men produces more important fatty acids, and its mechanism of antioxidant defenses gradually deteriorates. In other words, as these defenses dwindle, the natural oils in our skin oxidize faster, producing 2-nonenal.

In the 2000s, a Japanese research team announced that the concentration of 2-nonenal increased considerably with age. Twenty-six people, aged 26 to 75, were asked to wear "antiperspirant" shirts for a few nights. The researchers then analyzed the molecules that adhered to the tissue and found that the concentration of 2-nonenal was much greater in shirts worn by people over 40 than in younger subjects.

How to get rid of odors caused by 2-nonenal?

2-nonenal is not soluble in water. For example, although older people cleanse their skin deeply, the smell continues to linger. Therefore, as to get rid of any other body odor, the most important is to have a healthy lifestyle. It is therefore important to exercise regularly, eat healthy and balanced foods, reduce your stress levels and alcohol consumption, do not smoke, hydrate regularly and get enough sleep to rest. your body.

Other factors that can cause this odor in the elderly
Dehydration: Older people tend not to hydrate properly. With age, older people feel less thirsty and therefore consume small amounts of water a day. Excretions discharged by the body are therefore more concentrated, which explains this special smell.

Taking certain medications: As you get older, taking medication becomes more constant and regular. Alzheimer's, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis or thyroid problems are so many diseases that require lifelong treatments, which can sometimes cause particular odors.

Hygiene: Sometimes elderly people, especially those who are most isolated, have trouble bathing or showering frequently. These people generally suffer from rheumatism and arthritis and can not take care of their personal hygiene independently, which can also develop unpleasant odors.
Older People Have A Special Smell