The nose's olfactory receptors are stimulated when we smell food and other odors. But could the process of smelling cause weight gain?

SeekerPublished: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018
Published: July 10, 2018Updated: July 11, 2018

Our sense of smell plays a huge role in our sense of taste; the sensation of flavor is actually a combination of both these senses. But there's also a link between our sense of smell and obesity, according to a new study. It's a lot more complicated than eating more when food smells amazing. Turns out savoring the aroma of your food could be adding inches to your waistline. The research was done using mice, not humans, but it still applies to us.

Using gene therapy, the team temporarily destroyed olfactory neurons in the noses of adult mice, leaving them without a sense of smell. Another group of mice was left with their sense of smell intact.The two groups were then fed the same high-fat diet.

The mice without a sense of smell stayed trim, gaining no more than 10 percent of their body weight. Some heavier mice actually lost weight with their sense of smell gone. And it was all fat loss - there was no effect on the mass of their muscles, bone density, or organs.

The mice whose sense of smell was left intact, on the other hand, just about doubled in size. This US-based team compared notes with another team in Germany researching with super smellers - mice with acute olfactory nerves. These mice gained even more weight on a standard diet than normal mice.

 

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