Skip to content

Healthy, Burpy & Smelly

May 1, 2022   Return


Called the ‘stinking rose’ for a good reason, garlic promises a slew of health benefits but there is one downside: the smell. In addition to having ‘garlic breath’, you may also develop a distinctive body odour if you eat fresh garlic over a long period of time.

  • Try garlic supplements. Depending on the formulation, some may offer reduced garlic breath or body odour side effects. The odour-free ones are usually made from aged garlic extract, which contains lesser amounts of allicin – the active substance that makes garlic beneficial as well as gives garlic its distinctive smell – and therefore, are less potent. Your pharmacist can further advise you on the use of garlic supplements.
  • If you love the taste of fresh garlic and want to continue to make it a part of your meals, you can use deodorants, body sprays, and such to keep the garlic odour from your skin under control. Regular use of mouthwash and breath fresheners can help with garlic breath.

Fish oil

Oil from fatty fish, a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, can often lead to ‘fishy burps’. This is because your body produces a lot of excess gas when trying to digest fish oil, hence the constant burping and even passing of wind from the other end!

  • Leave your fish oil in the freezer overnight. This slows down its digestion in the stomach, causing less gas to be produced as a result.
  • You can also take fish oil during your meals, or take in smaller doses throughout the day.
  • You can also consider red krill oil supplements as an alternative. Red krill oil is also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Coating up the taste

Supplement capsules can be coated with a compound called enteric, which allows them to release their contents only once they reach the intestine. This prevents any unpleasant aftertaste or embarrassing side effects like odours or burping.

However, the use of enteric coating often drives up the price of the supplement. Furthermore, some studies suggest that certain foods such as fish oil provide more optimal benefits when absorbed from the stomach rather than the intestine.

Ultimately, it is up to you. Are you willing to pay a little bit more to avoid the side effects, even if this means getting less than optimal health benefits from the supplement? You can consult a pharmacist for more advice.


1. Livestrong. Available at 2. WebMD. Available at

If you like this article, do subscribe here.