GILROY, Calif. (CBS Sacramento) - Men who attend the annual Garlic Festival in Gilroy may have an edge when it comes to attracting the ladies.
That's because the body odor of men who eat garlic is more attractive to women, according to a new study.
"Our results indicate that garlic consumption may have positive effects on the pleasure derived from perceived body odour perhaps due to its health effect," said lead researcher Craig Roberts.
Then 82 women were asked to sniff their body odor samples (collected by the scientists) and judge them on the basis of pleasantness, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity.
The researchers found that when men ate 12 grams of garlic, about four cloves worth, the women found their scent more appealing than the men who didn't eat garlic.
The same was true for men who took an equivalent amount of garlic capsules.
"From an evolutionary perspective, formation of preferences for diet-associated body odors was possibly shaped by means of sexual selection," explained Roberts.
He added that many animal species use diet-associated clues to select the strongest mates.
"As the health benefits of garlic consumption include antioxidant, immunostimulant, cardiovascular, bactericidal and anti-cancer effects, it is plausible that human odour preferences have been shaped by sexual selection."
The researchers stress that their study involves body odor, and not bad breath that can be caused by garlic.
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