Without specialty breath care products, maintaining fresh breath can be a real chore. Not only do plenty of foods and beverages lead to halitosis, but vitamin supplements occasionally do the same, according to an article published by the popular health resource LiveStrong.
The website recently ran a story listing some of the vitamins and herbal supplements that can leave your breath smelling singularly unpleasant. This effect is noteworthy because, unlike nearly every other cause of bad breath, supplement-related halitosis doesn't originate in your mouth.
Think of it this way. Normally, you eat or drink something that, within minutes or hours, results in an oral odor. While sometimes the culprit is the food itself - garlic and onions, for example - more often than not what's happened is that the bacteria in your mouth have digested what you ate and given off volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
These molecules are what you smell when your breath has spiraled out of control. However, occasionally your fresh breath becomes halitosis due to what's circulating in your blood.
The National Institutes of Health notes that oral odor can occasionally come from consuming certain vitamin supplements, or from taking too many of them. What kinds of vitamins can do this? LiveStrong notes that the most obvious one is garlic pills.
These supplements contain garlic oil or powder, which is loaded with allyl methyl sulfide, the VSC that gives garlic its instantly recognizable funk. As your body digests a heaping helping of garlic oil, this VSC suffuses your blood, eventually escaping through your sweat glands and mucus membranes.
The result? Bad breath and body odor.
However, plenty of other supplements can lead to halitosis. Omega-3 fatty acids, for instance, are often derived from fish oil. LiveStrong noted that oils taken from fish tissue can make your breath smell downright rotten.
Likewise, certain medical conditions make it difficult for the body to produce its own carnatine and choline, two organic compounds that your body uses to convert food into energy. Individuals who take supplements containing these substances often complain of getting rank bad breath.
Fortunately, in these situations there are several ways to get fresh breath again. The first is to ease up on your vitamin supplementation. If this isn't possible, you can at least try balancing your nutrient load.
Research appearing in the journal Proceeds of the Finnish Dental Society determined that taking vitamin C supplements may reduce the risk of periodontal disease, a dental condition closely associated with halitosis and tooth loss.
Furthermore, specialty breath fresheners can neutralize those VSCs in your mouth, leaving you with clean, fresh breath.