Odor After Eating Fish

Fish has high nutritional value as it contains sufficient proteins necessary for numerous bodily functions and omega-3 essential fatty acids.

But it cannot be denied that it can cause body odor after being consumed, whether raw or cooked, especially in susceptible individuals.

Here is a short read for those wondering what causes such an odor and how it can be minimized or prevented.

Read Also: How Long Can A Betta Fish Go Without Eating?

It’s in the Fish’s Natural Physiology

The fish smell, well, fishy because of their unique natural physiology. Fish live in the open ocean, approximately 3% by weight.

Still, the optimum level of dissolved minerals in their cells is less than 1%, a fluid imbalance that fish address by filling with amines and amino acids. These counteract the seawater’s saltiness and allow them to live in such a salty environment. 

The most commonly used amines and amino acids are trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). It converts into trimethylamine (TMA) when the fish dies.

The chemical conversion is facilitated by the natural decaying process, particularly by enzymes in the fish and environmental bacteria. Once TMAO is converted into TMA, the characteristic fishy smell of dead fish becomes more and more pronounced. 

It’s Your Body’s Physiology, Too

Your body also reacts to the food eaten, and fish consumption is among the most significant in terms of body odor. It is essential to note that your sweat makes you smell because it doesn’t have a scent and is essentially just a combination of water and electrolytes.

Instead, it’s about the chemical interactions between the bacteria in your skin and the secretions of your skin.

When you eat fish, your digestive system breaks it down and, in the process, causes by-products to be secreted. These by-products react with the bacteria on your skin, and you may have a slightly fishy smell.

Fortunately, you will find that it doesn’t stay long, and you can remove it by brushing your teeth and taking a bath.

But there’s a metabolic disorder that causes noticeable body odor after seafood and fish consumption, known as trimethylaminuria.

In people with trimethylaminuria, their bodies can’t break down TMA. So body odor appears a few hours after fish consumption. While it’s an uncommon disorder, adopting these steps is reasonably easy to manage.

Avoid Seafood And Fish

It is an obvious suggestion but can also become problematic, considering that seafood and fish have high nutritional value. Fortunately, there’s a solution:

Take fish oil supplements, such as Viva Naturals Omega 3 Fish Oil, which provides essential fatty acids.

Avoid Choline-Rich Foods

These include eggs, legumes, organ meats (e.g., liver, heart, and brain), and milk from grass-fed cows since they have high choline levels, a precursor of TMA. 

Otherwise, the TMA can build up in the body resulting in body odor; the smelly secretions are released via the breath and urine, even in sweat. 

Consider Antibiotics

Ask your doctor about the safety of antibiotics in countering the effects of bacteria on your body’s secretions.


Why Do You Have An Odor After Eating Fish?

Body odor after eating fish isn’t a hopeless case. You need to know what causes it and its treatment and cook fish properly to not stink after eating it.

You may want to read Josh Niland’s The Whole Fish Cookbook: New Ways to Cook, Eat and Think for this purpose.