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Q: What Causes That Unique Smell Associated With "Old People"? A: It Might Be Nonenal.


Chances are you have never heard the word "nonenal", but you have probably smelled it. One of Dr. Stahr's colleagues recently introduced him to a scientific study of this chemical in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. According to this study, nonenal is an "unsaturated aldehyde with an unpleasant greasy and grassy odor" that appears to increase in concentration in human body odor as we age. This study, which was conducted in Japan used to sophisticated techniques with gas chromatography to prove this point and if you want to read more about it, check it out here:


https://www.jidonline.org/article/S0022-202X(15)41198-4/pdf


Perhaps you are saying "Great, so we have a name for one of the chemicals that cause the unique body odor associated with aging. How does that help me?" Well, understanding a problem can be the first step in developing a solution. Soaps have been developed to address the nonenal odor. If you search google for "nonenal soap" you will see a bevy of products available and many are easily purchased from online. If you have an older relative that you think might have the nonenal smell, maybe we just gave you a gift idea. You don't necessarily have to tell this person why you chose that particular soap as a gift. ;-)







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