Your Nose Could Be Causing Your Weight Gain

Your Nose Could Be Causing Your Weight Gain

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Your nose may be just as much to blame for your weight gain as your mouth is. A study took a look at how smelling what you eat might do more than just put a smile on your face. But what researchers are learning might lead to future treatments to fight obesity. Part of the enjoyment of an indulgent meal is how wonderful it smells. But the odor could affect how our body processes the calories. Using lab mice, University of California at Berkeley researchers looked into possible links. They found obese mice without a sense of smell, lost weight. But mice with a sense of smell who ate the same amount of food ballooned to twice their normal weight. Mice with an augmented sense of smell got even heavier. The researchers say food odor may play a role in how our bodies deal with calories. If we can't smell our food, we might burn the calories rather than store them. A lack of smell may also trick the body into thinking it's already eaten. The study points to a connection between the bodies' olfactory system and the regions of the brain that regulate metabolism, although the study adds that the neural circuits that facilitate this are unknown. But scientists hope dramatic developments in the battle against obesity could someday emerge from the study. The lead researcher thinks a procedure might be developed to help the severely obese by temporarily removing their sense of smell. He adds that another possibility is a drug which affects the specific metabolic circuitry - but not the sense of smell.

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