The significance of odorous steroids in axillary odour
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For at least the past two decades many research groups have been interested in the glands that are involved in the odours emitted by humans, and the sources and composition of such odours and whether they provide olfactory cues which elicit responses in other humans. The apocrine glands, especially those in the axillae, are thought of as strong candidates for the source of some human odours. However, although the axillae and their role in human olfaction will be examined here, it is worth noting that apocrine glands are also found concentrated elsewhere in the body. For example, the mammary areolae contain these glands and it is conceivable that their secretions are involved in maternal—neonate interactions that have been discovered recently (MacFarlane, 1975; Russell, 1976; Schaal et al., 1980). It has been shown clearly that the human neonate can distinguish between the smell of breast-pads taken from its mother and those taken from a strange mother. Furthermore, the infants became less restless when they smelled their mothers’ odour (Schaal et al., 1980). Schleidt and Hold (1982) sum up this behaviour in the words: ‘die Mutter stillt das Kind.’
KeywordsApocrine Gland Eccrine Gland Axillary Hair Odorous Substance Human Odour
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