Chalk up another benefit to eating garlic. New research out of Prague suggests the body odor of men who eat garlic is attractive to women.
For the study, researchers from the University of Stirling and Charles University in Prague asked 42 men to eat raw garlic, garlic capsules, or no garlic at all. They then invited 82 women to judge the men’s body odor on overall pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity.
The findings showed the women found the men to be “significantly more attractive” after consuming the pungent staple of Italian food than when they hadn't eaten it, Medical Xpress
What’s more, the more garlic the men ate, the more attractive they became to the women.
Why? Lead researcher Craig Roberts suggested garlic may somehow influence women’s perceptions of the men’s overall health, which may make the more attractive to the opposite sex.
“Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on the pleasure derived from perceived body odor perhaps due to its health effects,” he said. “From an evolutionary perspective, formation of preferences for diet-associated body odors 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 odor preferences have been shaped by sexual selection.”
Unfortunately, the effects of the garlic on the men’s breath had a less positive effect on the women’s impressions.
As a result, the researchers concluded — with a straight face, evidently — that “the study concludes that body odor, in contrast to breath odor, is positively affected by garlic and that these two sources of odor should be strictly differentiated. As breath odor plays an important factor in intimate relationships further studies may be carried out.”
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