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Fish is a nutritionally beneficial food that can give your body some essential vitamins and minerals. But, although it is healthy to eat, some may be concerned about smelling fishy after consuming fish.
That may get you wondering, does eating fish make you smell like fish?
Eating fish can make some people smell like fish but it is rare. In certain people, eating fish can cause them to have a fishy smelling body odor. Your urine may also have a fishy smell after consuming fish.
Sometimes whenever you eat fish, you may notice that you smell fishy. The reason eating fish can make you smell like fish is all in the fish’s natural physiology and your body’s physiology, too. A fish is made up of amines and amino acids. One of the most common amines and amino acids found in fish is trimethylamine oxide (TMAO) which converts into trimethylamine (TMA) whenever the fish dies.
Natural decay of the fish causes this chemical reaction. As a result of this chemical reaction, the fish begins to smell fishy. The smell becomes more and more pronounced the longer the fish is dead.
Now, your body reacts to foods that you eat. So, when you eat fish, it can cause you to smell fishy. Eating fish is actually the most interesting food when it comes to body odor.
Whenever you have body odor, it is a result of the chemical interactions between the bacteria and sections of your skin. So, when you consume fish, in the process of your digestive system breaking it down, by-products are secreted. These by-products then react with bacteria on your skin giving you a slight fishy smell.
Now, this fishy smell you can get after eating fish doesn’t stick around for very long and can be taken care of by brushing your teeth and taking a shower or bath. If you notice that you are smelling like fish, then it may be that your body simply can’t handle the TMA found in fish. This is known as trimethylaminuria (TMAU) or Fish Odor Syndrome.
It could also be that the fish you are eating is very strong smelling. Sometimes eating fish can make you smell like fish but in most cases it is rare to happen.
How Do You Get Rid Of A Fishy Smell After Eating Fish?
If you are suffering from a fishy smell whenever you eat fish, then you probably have TMAU. This metabolic disorder is sometimes caused by genetics. It might also just be the smell of fish on your breath or skin from when you cooked the fish as well.
There are some things to help you if you suffer from this disorder. But, how can you get rid of the fishy smell after eating?
By avoiding certain foods, you can avoid smelling fishy from eating fish. You should also follow proper hygiene since staying clean can significantly help you not to stink. If you have TMAU, ask your doctor about other treatments for the metabolic disorder.
For some people, eating fish can cause noticeable body odor. This is a metabolic disorder known as trimethylaminuria (TMAU) or Fish Odor Syndrome in which the person’s body cannot break down TMA. Because of this, they can have a fishy body odor a few hours after eating fish.
TMA can build up in the body and cause body odor that is released through breath, urine and sweat. This disorder is uncommon but if you have TMAU, it can be avoided in a few ways:
- By avoiding fish and seafood. Fish is the whole reason why you smell fishy, so don’t eat any fish or seafood.
- Take supplements. Instead of eating fish, take fish oil supplements to get the nutrients found in fish. You can also take charcoal or Vitamin B2.
- Avoiding choline-rich foods. Eggs, legumes, organ means such as liver, heart, and brain, and milk from grass fed cows all have a high choline level which is a precursor of TMA.
- Taking antibiotics. You can ask your doctor if taking antibiotics to counteract the effect of bacteria on your body’s secretions is a safe choice.
- Avoid strenuous exercise. When you sweat more, you can smell more so choose to do gentle exercise so that you won’t sweat as much.
- Try to relax. Stress can make your symptoms worse so it is best to relax.
- Use the right soap. Wash your skin with a slightly acidic soap or shampoo such as products with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
- Use a deodorant. This should be a must for everyone. Deodorant helps to eliminate body odor and it can help with that fishy smell, too.
- Wash your clothes often. By frequently washing your clothes, you wont smell as fishy.
- Take probiotics. It is thought that this can control the bacteria so less TMA is released from the choline in the food you eat. Probiotics could also reduce the time it takes the TMA to be released from the food and absorbed into the bloodstream.
As you can see, there are ways you can treat TMAU. Most of the time, those who smell like fish after eating it have this disorder. But, sometimes, those who don’t have TMAU can slightly smell like fish (usually their urine). This can be because the fish they ate smelled very strong.
But, just like treating TMAU, you can prevent smelling fishy after eating fish. To avoid this, try rinsing the fish before you cook it and use lemon during and after you are cooking the fish. This can lessen the odor effect since lemon is an acidic fruit and TMA can be broken down by acids.
As we conclude, let’s go over some of the things we learned. The bacteria found in fish after it dies, makes it smell fishy, and when we consume the fish, a chemical reaction occurs as the TMA from the fish reacts with the bacteria on our skin resulting in a fishy smell.
If your body odor smells fishy after eating fish, then you most likely have a metabolic disorder called TMAU. TMAU (Fish Odor Syndrome) is an uncommon metabolic disorder and can be treated by avoiding fish and seafood in your diet along with other ways mentioned in this article.
So, it is possible for eating fish to make you smell like fish but most of the time it is likely the smell of fish on your breath or from the kitchen and not you that smells of fish.