Garlic makes men smell ‘more attractive to women’

GarlicPreviously we’ve written about garlic’s superfood ability to provide antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal benefits… now it appears the consumption of garlic also makes men smell better to the opposite sex.

The research seems counter-intuitive to those women who suggest their mates take a breath mint when they detect the ‘noxious’ garlic odor on their breath; however, researchers postulate two theories to explain the research:

First, it could be that women may have evolved to prefer the type of smell that eating garlic—which is a highly nutritious food—produces in armpit sweat, because it suggests the person is healthy.

Or, second, it could be that the antibacterial action of the garlic makes the armpits smell sweeter by reducing the density of the microbes which cause the nasty odors that percolate in the armpits.

The small study was conducted by researchers from the University of Stirling in Scotland and Charles University in the Czech Republic said.

For the study, 42 men were asked, in rotation, to eat raw garlic, garlic capsules, or no garlic, and wear pads in their armpits for 12 hours afterwards, to collect body odor.

Then, 82 women were asked to sniff the odor samples and judge them on their pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity and intensity.

The body odor of the men was perceived to be ‘significantly more attractive and less intense’ when they had eaten the garlic in bulb and capsule form than when they (the same men) hadn’t eaten it.

The researches noted the effect only came into play once the men were eating a substantial amount of garlic. Considering the benefits, though, the effort seems well worth the effort.

“Certainly, breath odor plays a crucial role in most social interactions, but human axillary (armpit) odor is also an important factor in intimate relationships,’ the researchers wrote in the journal Appetite.

“Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on perceived body odor hedonicity (the pleasure derived from it), perhaps due to its health effects, for example antioxidant properties and antimicrobial activity.

“From an evolutionary perspective, formation of preferences for diet-associated body odors was possibly shaped by means of sexual selection.”

Whatever the exact mechanism is for making the ‘garlic men’ smell more attractive to women, it is just one more reason for men to add garlic to their daily regimen.