Why Does Sweating Cool You Down?

by Joe Schwarcz, PhD

A healthy body produces its own heat. Your cells are always active and produce metabolic waste products that have to be eliminated from the body through perspiration. Sweating cools the body in two ways: First, water evaporates from your skin and is lost into the atmosphere where it can’t do any harm; second, a small amount of energy is dissipated as heat in sweat glands that contract when they receive messages from thermoreceptors in nerve endings or stretch receptors in muscles. In general sweating reduces surface temperature by about 0.5°C per minute under normal conditions but this rate increases when activity levels increase (for example, during exercise).

Why does my breath smell?

by Judy Pauliukaitis MD

Breath odour comes from bacterial fermentation within our lungs which leads to volatile organic compounds being produced including acetone (a component of nail polish remover), ammonia (found naturally in urine) and hydrogen sulphide (the ‘rotten egg’ scent you often get after eating shellfish). These substances are not themselves harmful but may cause allergic reactions or other problems if inhaled over long periods of time because they provoke inflammation at their site of production by attracting white blood cells known as neutrophils. The problem isn’t present on every person but is more common with people who don’t brush their teeth regularly or take antibiotics frequently for infections such as sore throat

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