'bowel' body odors

Dr Dolphin was part of the team who first demonstrated that mutations in the FMO3 gene are the cause of the inherited (primary form) of TMAU.

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'bowel' body odors

Postby PoetFire » Wed Jul 20, 2011 2:43 pm

Dr Dolphin, many of us (myself included) can smell of a wide range of 'bowel' odours; anything from fecal, gas, sewage, burnt rubber, rotten egg, many other offensive smells. My impression is that this is the typical 'TMAU positive' profile (perhaps in mild genetic cases ?) rather than a 'fish odour'. These sort of smells are the default in many TMAU+ cases but also in some who are not TMAU+.

Do you think there could be such a thing as 'FMO3 body odor' given the wide range of sulfides,amines and phosphorous compounds that FMO3 oxidizes ? I understand that apart from TMA all/most of the other FMO3 substrates may be oxidized a different route but maybe the build-up can be too much. Perhaps FMO also plays some role in the gut oxidizing sulfides and amines before they are absorbed. making it a lose/lose situation (more substrates produced in the gut and less ability to oxidize them) ?
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Re: 'bowel' body odors

Postby FADworker » Sat Jul 23, 2011 1:16 pm

PoetFire wrote:Dr Dolphin, many of us (myself included) can smell of a wide range of 'bowel' odours; anything from fecal, gas, sewage, burnt rubber, rotten egg, many other offensive smells. My impression is that this is the typical 'TMAU positive' profile (perhaps in mild genetic cases ?) rather than a 'fish odour'. These sort of smells are the default in many TMAU+ cases but also in some who are not TMAU+.

Do you think there could be such a thing as 'FMO3 body odor' given the wide range of sulfides,amines and phosphorous compounds that FMO3 oxidizes ? I understand that apart from TMA all/most of the other FMO3 substrates may be oxidized a different route but maybe the build-up can be too much. Perhaps FMO also plays some role in the gut oxidizing sulfides and amines before they are absorbed. making it a lose/lose situation (more substrates produced in the gut and less ability to oxidize them) ?


Interesting questions. The enzyme FMO3 is the only 'detoxifying' one in the liver that is effective in oxidising TMA. As you know, in patients with TMAU1, in which genetic changes in the FMO3 genes result in absent, inactive or reduced-active enzyme, there will be the potential to be unable to oxidise the TMA that is produced by the bacteria in the lower gut and hence a fishy odour. The gut bacteria may also produce other smelly compounds that are also absorbed and pass straight into the liver. Recent research points to all of us having a very complex profile of bacteria in our gut but that, although very complex with hundreds of different species present, this diversity is often quite different between people. So, its possible these different bacterial profiles produce different odorous chemicals, one of which is TMA. Whether FMO3 and/or other 'detoxifying' liver enzymes are involed in their metabolism is just too difficult to say. FMO3 does oxidise other chemicals as you say but there is considerable 'overlap' between most of these 'detoxifying' liver enzymes. The fact that TMA is oxidised only by one of them - FMO3 - is unusual and, actually, the problem for TMAU1 patients in that if another one of the 20 or so 'detoxifying' enzymes was able to oxidise TMA no free TMA might escape in the sweat, etc.
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Re: 'bowel' body odors

Postby PoetFire » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:27 pm

Thanks for the reply,

My own current suspicion is that there may be 3 variations of the same problem :
1. true 'fish odour syndrome' where TMA is the main and perhaps only offending compound. This may be in very severe genetic cases and very severe TMAU2 cases (?)
2. FMO3 body odor and/or
3. Gut dysbiosis that heavily burdens FMO3

My current guess is that many may be a mix of the 3, perhaps less so of #1 (most of us perhaps being mild genetic cases of some sort)

My current guess is that all will be at least 'carriers' of one or more FMO3 variant/mutant, with many of the 2 and 3 options above perhaps being caused as the gut flora alters due to inability to keep the gut flora normal

I know TMA cannot be oxidized any other route and that the other detoxifying enzymes allow the other substrates that favour FMO3 as their preferred route to go alternative routes, but I was thinking perhaps the whole group of enzymes become backed up with these FMO3 compounds due to overload (?) (feces not smelling of fish, but of many other smells from the flora metabolism)

I think a problem at the moment is that there may be a 'disconnect' between the medical community prediction of the person's symptom(s) and what most sufferers actually smell of. It would be great if the medical system got some feedback from say, a survey study, into positive cases about what their odors were.
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Re: 'bowel' body odors

Postby FADworker » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:12 pm

PoetFire wrote:Thanks for the reply,

My own current suspicion is that there may be 3 variations of the same problem :
1. true 'fish odour syndrome' where TMA is the main and perhaps only offending compound. This may be in very severe genetic cases and very severe TMAU2 cases (?)
2. FMO3 body odor and/or
3. Gut dysbiosis that heavily burdens FMO3

My current guess is that many may be a mix of the 3, perhaps less so of #1 (most of us perhaps being mild genetic cases of some sort)

My current guess is that all will be at least 'carriers' of one or more FMO3 variant/mutant, with many of the 2 and 3 options above perhaps being caused as the gut flora alters due to inability to keep the gut flora normal

I know TMA cannot be oxidized any other route and that the other detoxifying enzymes allow the other substrates that favour FMO3 as their preferred route to go alternative routes, but I was thinking perhaps the whole group of enzymes become backed up with these FMO3 compounds due to overload (?) (feces not smelling of fish, but of many other smells from the flora metabolism)

I think a problem at the moment is that there may be a 'disconnect' between the medical community prediction of the person's symptom(s) and what most sufferers actually smell of. It would be great if the medical system got some feedback from say, a survey study, into positive cases about what their odors were.


I'm not sure that everyone needs necessarily to be an FMO3 carrier as its quite possible that, in some people, the amount of FMO3 present in the liver is just on the low side as there's bound to be a range in FMO3 content in any population (this is true for many of the detoxifying enzymes). What would be useful is to determine the composition of gut flora in TMAU1/2 patients - see my reply to kitty cat - to investigate whether there is an over-representation of any particular speices of bacteria.
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