A new study has found that smelling other people's body odour could reduce social anxiety. Swedish researchers have been using armpit sweat in their experiments. The study says that social anxiety can be reduced with the help of human "chemo-signals".
The study says that exposure to the stink reduces social anxiety by nearly 40 per cent when clubbed with mindfulness therapy. The study was done by researchers from Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
According to the BBC report, they are presenting some of their early findings at a medical conference in Paris this week.
The smell can help humans sense danger- from food or smoky fire. The Swedish researchers suggest that human body odour can even tell our emotional state- happy or anxious.
The researchers asked 48 women with social anxiety to sniff some of the armpit sweat samples alongside receiving a more conventional therapy called mindfulness.
Some women were genuine body odour to sniff, while others were given clean air instead.
Those who sniffed body odour appeared to do better with the therapy.
Lead researcher Elisa Vigna of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm said, "Sweat produced while someone was happy had the same effect as someone who had been scared by a movie clip. So there may be something about human chemo-signals in sweat generally which affects the response to treatment.
"It may be that simply being exposed to the presence of someone else has this effect, but we need to confirm this. In fact, that is what we are testing now in a follow-up study with a similar design, but where we are also including sweat from individuals watching emotionally neutral documentaries."