There have long been debates on this site and elsewhere surrounding the hygiene habits of Czech men and that particularly pungent odor one tends to encounter on a packed tram on a hot (or even a cold) day.
A new study from Charles University in Prague could explain it – apparently meat-eating men tend to emit a more unpleasant odor than those who adhere to a meat-free diet. In short: vegetarian dudes smell better.
According to Czech researchers writing in the medical journal Chemical Senses: “Odor individuality partly results from genetic individuality, but the influence of ecological factors such as eating habits are another main source of odor variability. However, we know very little about how particular dietary components shape our body odor.”
To that end, scientists studied the effect of red-meat consumption on body-odor attractiveness, giving seventeen men a meat or meat-free diet for two weeks; meat weeks included seven ounces of red meat a day.
Subjects wore pads that collected their sweat during the final 24 hours of the diet. Women were then asked to take a whiff and report on the pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity of each subject.
The test was repeated a month later with the same donors going on the opposite diet; each time the non-meaters were chosen as the least offensive of the bunch.