You may not realize that your sense of smell can be linked to the pounds you are packing on. According to the findings published in Cell Metabolism, smelling your food could have a lot to do with your weight gaining.
Loss of smell reduces weight gain
The study, conducted by the University of California, Berkeley, carried out the experiment on groups of mice fed with the same high-fat diet. The mice were separated into different groups, including a group with their smell temporarily disabled, and another group left as “perfect smellers.”
The researchers found that the mice with their smell removed got only 10 percent of the original weight, whereas the mice of the other group gained almost 100 percent of the body weight.
A scientist later explained that weight gain is not completely concerned with taking in calories, but also how the calories can be perceived. This has something to do with metabolism in which the sensory systems play a significant part.
Although the study was conducted merely on mice, the results inspired researchers to consider making a drug that could help humans lose weight by temporarily pausing the nerve in the nose or just fooling the body and making it think that nothing could be smelled.
Loss of smell is NOT good, however
However, we should be cautious about adopting such an approach to human beings as it could trigger some unintended and negative consequences. Some typical side-effects may include:
People are likely to feel upset or frustrated, even if they just have their smell paused for a short period of time. The sense of smell plays a very important role in people’s behavior, especially for eating. Therefore, all the pleasure of eating will be lost once the sense of smell gets blocked. Just think about the bad cold. Every time you lose your appetite as the cold prevents you from smelling the nice food, you probably won’t feel much happy about that even if you are losing weight.
We have to realize that the disabling of the smell will be temporary if it is put into practice on humans. However, once the sense of smell gets restored (and it will), the weight previously lost can be regained. Chances are that you may have to repeat the process again and again, which can make you feel tiresome.
Once the supposed drug is used and people’s sympathetic nervous system gets more active, more noradrenaline - that’s a kind of hormone - will be produced. This can easily trigger a heart attack which can threaten one’s life at any time. Obviously the risk is far outweighing the weight loss.
Still, despite all of these potential consequences, the result of the study is quite fascinating. After all, we now realize that there are some interesting links between smell and the diet. With more study and research in the future, we may have the chance to lose weight via new methods. Thus far, just try not to inhale too deeply as you approach the delicious food.