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Why Do I Smell Like Fish?

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Pippa Corbett Profile
Pippa Corbett answered
Are you worried about an awful fishy smell coming from somewhere on your body? One reason why you might smell like that could be due to the presence of a compound called trimethylamine. Why do I smell fishy? Trimethylamine is an organic compound found in a number of different food (including fish, legumes, egg yolk and red meat) - and is usually broken down in your body into other odorless compounds without a hitch.

However, if your body struggles to break this compound down, it will then be secreted in your sweat, breath and urine - and result in a fishy and unpleasant odor.

The term Trimethylaminuria is given to a rare metabolic condition associated with an inability to break down trimethylamine in the diet. Although there's no known cure, the problem can be managed with antibiotics and dietary changes.

Why do fish smell fishy?
Interestingly, fish don't actually smell as fishy as you might think.

It's only when they're killed that their bodies are unable to convert the trimethylamine that naturally occurs in their skin, which causes a bit of a stink.

Here's a link to an interesting story on 'The Sun' website, detailing the plight of a woman who suffered with Trimethylaminuria.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I have that same problem. After I eat some fish, for like a day or two I smell of it and can still taste it in the back of my throat.

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