Study finds blackcurrants can reduce ‘old person’s smell’ up to 80% in adults

Study finds blackcurrants can reduce ‘old person’s smell’ up to 80% in adults

AGE-induced body odour is a fact of life, a result of the normal cellular ageing processes called ‘oxidative stress’.

Last week we shared new research showing how just one serving of New Zealand blackcurrant extract can reduce oxidative stress generated from exercise by over 30%.

Now, a new study has found that blackcurrant's potent effect on oxidative stress can also help reduce skin emissions by up to 80%.

As we age, cells in the body and in these glands come under attack, in a process called ‘oxidative stress’ and ‘lipid peroxidation’. The effect accelerates as we age, resulting in the emission of this skin odour.

These skin odors occur usually starts from the age of 40 – and blackcurrant could prove a novel approach to reducing ‘old person’s smell’.

The University of Chichester study was performed on 14 middle-aged adults, aged 49-64, who consumed New Zealand blackcurrant daily for seven days.

The findings showed the berry reduced skin emissions by 28%, with reductions of up to 69% in six participants, and up to 82% in a further two individuals.  

Blackcurrant anthocyanins contain antioxidants that help to protect against this decline in cell health.


Mark Willems, Professor of Sports and Exercise Physiology at the University of Chichester, (left) performed the study, together with Tokai University in Japan, and says: “We looked at the production of this particular gas, which isn’t produced by 20-year-olds, but starts at 40 and is linked with body odour, as a consequence of lipid peroxidation in the glands that produce oily substances for our skin. It’s a pure oxidative stress reaction.

“We know the bioactives in blackcurrant help to neutralise oxidative stress and they clearly reduced skin emissions in this study. To see a reduction of up to 80% is amazing.

“It shows that blackcurrant can help protect against the ageing process and disrupt the normal situation that occurs with oxidative stress.”

 The study, New Zealand blackcurrant powder reduces a human body odor component in middle-aged and older adults was released at the 2018 International Sports and Exercise Nutrition Conference at Newcastle.