Body odor - a source of temptation?
 The ability to turn anyone into a walking aphrodisiac is the "holy grail" for manufacturers of perfume. But so far a secret scent that would be able to attract men or women (or both) is not found.

It has been over 50 years since, has been put into circulation, the term "pheromone", but so far scientists have not come to a definite conclusion, whether awakens the natural body odor subconscious desire in the people around them. The word "pheromone" comes from the Greek "pherein" ("carry") and "hormon" ("initiate") and can be translated as "excitement carrier".

It is well known that insects and animals "respond" to the chemical "marks" left by their compatriots. They even have a special body for this purpose. As for man, scientists have long been struggling with the task of finding at least one component that have had such a strong physiological effects on humans. "We can never find a real human pheromones - says Professor Tim Jacobs School of Life Sciences of the University of Cardiff. - But if you ask me, whether there are chemical signals that can influence our behavior Then I answer that, of course, exist. But we must remember that they are linked is not just about sex. "

For example, a key argument for the existence of human pheromones is a long-standing "fairy tale" that women who live together or close contact, synchronized menstrual cycles . For the first time such an assumption was made in the 1970s Martha MakKlinok from Harvard University. In the late '90s, she found some evidence of this hypothesis, but it was unable to determine what the substance has such an effect. "It's very likely - and can be put to good practical use, - says Dr. Tristram Wyatt, a zoologist at Oxford University. - If we can thus affect the female hormones, and thus the menstrual cycle, which in the end, it will to establish an effective and safe contraceptive. "

In addition, there is also some evidence that smell of fear, which radiates animals during an emergency, a human equivalent. New York scientists have studied the brain responses of volunteers who were given a sniff of the smell of sweat pads with two groups of people: the first 40 pads contain the sweat of people who are ready to make my first parachute jump, and the second group of people not exposed to any stress. Pot "parachutists" create signals that the brain is associated with the fear of volunteers, although, of course, impossible to say with absolute certainty that these people were scared. This discovery produces a rather sinister appearance, especially considering that it was funded by the US Department of Defense.

Returning to the more innocuous topics: one study shows that some substances of male sweat can have a calming effect on women . "If we begin to understand how our brain responds to substances secreted by the human body, we can, at least potentially, to effectively treat certain diseases," - says Ivanka Savic, a neuroscientist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. For example, schizophrenia - one of the states that will better respond to treatment, if we will understand the effect of human pheromones. They are credited with almost supernatural ability to influence a person's mood, which may be the result of the brain's response to the signals of specific substances. Pheromones also be able to shed light on autism, which affects the ability to perceive human emotions.

However, most people are interested in the pheromones as a source of awakening sexual desire, or even love.

One study states that the odor emitted by nursing women, increases sexual desire in their girlfriends. This may be due to the fact that at the dawn of humanity, women were profitable to produce offspring at about the same time.

Another study focused on two substances: one called androstadinon (found in male sweat), another - estratetranol (found in female urine). Despite the fact that this study has not been completed because of the conflict of interest, scientists had come to the conclusion that androstadion can send signals to the female brain. True, it remains unknown whether the changes this behavior or mood of a woman.

There is an assumption that our ancestors gained color vision 25 million years ago, when the role of pheromones as a way of determining a partner significantly reduced. But the smell, no doubt, continue to play a role. There is compelling evidence that each of us is an individual produces a unique scent On which potential partners to decide whether we are coming or not they are genetically. "As soon as there was contact between humans, chemical signals recede into the background - suggests Professor Jacobs. - This could then lead to separation of genetically unsuitable partners of each other. Unfortunately, this leaves very little room for romance!"

Based on materials from BBC
Author: Lyudmila Lavrushina