Losing your sense of smell might be key to losing weight

Posted by Andrea Hogan on 17th July 2017

An individual’s sense of smell may be key to losing or gaining weight a new study has found.

Published in volume 26, issue one of Cell Metabolism Journal, US researchers found mice who had no sense of smell loss weight when eating the same amount of fatty foods as mice who could smell.

The mice who could smell gained weight, and other mice with a heightened sense of smell gained extra weight.

The researchers say the study results suggest smell plays an important role in the way the body deal with calories, believing if you cannot smell your food, the body will burn it rather than store it.

The researchers also believe the study could help explain why those who lose their sense of smell because of age, injury or other reasons, often end up underweight.

Weight gain is not purely a measure of calories

Senior research author, Andrew Dillin, explained sensory systems play a role in metabolism.

“Weight gain isn’t purely a measure of calories taken in; it’s also related to how those calories are perceived,” he said.

“If we can validate this in humans, perhaps we can actually make a drug that doesn’t interfere with smell but still blocks that metabolic circuitry,” Dillin stated.

The researchers noted that mice, as well as humans, are more sensitive to smells when they are hungry compared to after they have eaten. The study reported that perhaps this lack of smell tricks the body into thinking it has already eaten.


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