No sense of smell can lead to weight loss

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New research has found that even when eating a high-fat meal, if you have no sense of smell then you will pile on less kilos.

Focusing on mice and their eating habits, scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, fed two groups of mice, one which could smell and one which could not, the same high-fat diet. It was found that the rodents who could not smell lost around 16 per cent of their body weight, while the second group gained weight.

A link between lack of smell and weight loss has already been proved by academics and it’s known that not being able to smell cuts food cravings, as the senses of smell and taste become heightened in anticipation of a meal.

However the experts did not expect to find mice losing weight when they ate the same food as the smelling group.

"It's one of the most interesting discoveries to come out of my lab," author Andrew Dillin exclaimed. "What's happening to those calories?"

With findings published in Cell Metabolism, Dillin and his team noted the vast amount of weight that was lost when the sense of smell was eliminated.

"I never expected turning off smell would have such dramatic weight-loss effects," Dillin added.

It was further found that most of the weight lost was fat, with the mice burning brown fat, which burns energy and keeps us warm, and then turning unhealthy white fat into brown fat and burning that.

High levels of adrenaline in the mice’s blood were also found, with the team tracing this back to the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body’s fight or flight reaction and response to extremes, like cold weather.

While the team has not yet determined a link between the sense of smell and the sympathetic nervous system, they speculate it’s to do with the hypothalamus part of the brain.

© Cover Media

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