Accumulating evidence indicates that microbiota plays a critical role in physiological processes in humans. However, it might also contribute to body malodor by producing numerous odorous molecules such as ammonia, volatile sulfur compounds or trimethylamine. Although malodor is commonly overlooked by physicians, it constitutes a major problem for many otherwise healthy people. Thus, this review aims to investigate most common causes of malodor and describe potential therapeutic options. We searched PUBMED and Google Scholar databases to identify the clinical and pre-clinical studies on bad body smell, malodor, halitosis and microbiota. Unpleasant smell might originate from the mouth, skin, urine or reproductive fluids and is usually caused by odorants that are produced by resident bacterial flora. The accumulation of odorous compounds might result from diet, specific composition of microbiota, as well as compromised function of the liver, intestines and kidneys. Evidence-based guidelines for management of body malodor are lacking and no universal treatment exists. However, the alleviation of the symptoms may be achieved by controlling the diet and physical elimination of bacteria and/or accumulated odorants.
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