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I love eating garlic bread for lunch. What’s the quickest way to freshen my stinky breath for afternoon meetings? © Getty Images

I love eating garlic bread for lunch. What’s the quickest way to freshen my stinky breath for afternoon meetings?

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Wreaking of garlic at work isn’t going to endear you to colleagues so let BBC Science Focus sweeten your breath with some garlic breath busting tips.

As you digest your lunch, the smelly, sulphur-containing compounds (‘sulphides’) in the garlic are absorbed into your bloodstream, and will come out via the exhaled breath from your lungs, and even from pores in your skin. Brushing your teeth (and your tongue), and swirling with mouthwash, will help to temporarily mask the smell.

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Even better, though, a 2016 study at Ohio State University found that lettuce, apples and mint leaves contain enzymes and chemicals called ‘phenolic compounds’ that break down garlic’s sulphides before they reach the blood. So chomp on apples or mint leaves after lunch!

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luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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