Thursday, July 6, 2017

Smelling Your Food Makes You Fat (NOT About Shaming) #Science #Nutrition #Health

This article has nothing to do with fat shaming and I suspect anyone reading it will agree, hmm, this is extremely damn strange, isn't it.

After UC Berkeley researchers temporarily eliminated the sense of smell in the mouse on the right, it remained a normal weight while eating a high-fat diet. The mouse on the left, which retained its sense of smell, ballooned up on the same high-fat diet.

Credit: Céline Riera & Andrew Dillin, UC Berkeley

Our sense of smell is key to the enjoyment of food, so it may be no surprise that in experiments at the University of California, Berkeley, obese mice who lost their sense of smell also lost weight.

What's weird, however, is that these slimmed-down but smell-deficient mice ate the same amount of fatty food as mice that retained their sense of smell and ballooned to twice their normal weight.

In addition, mice with a boosted sense of smell -- super-smellers -- got even fatter on a high-fat diet than did mice with normal smell.

The findings suggest that the odor of what we eat may play an important role in how the body deals with calories. If you can't smell your food, you may burn it rather than store it.

- Science Daily:  Smelling your food makes you fat

Hopefully you see there is no agenda beyond the science and this one comes immediately to me since I have little sense of smell and I've never had any particular tendency to gain weight.  Whether this science explains that fact is still not fully clear but it seems a high possibility.

"This paper is one of the first studies that really shows if we manipulate olfactory inputs we can actually alter how the brain perceives energy balance, and how the brain regulates energy balance," said Céline Riera, a former UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow now at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Humans who lose their sense of smell because of age, injury or diseases such as Parkinson's often become anorexic, but the cause has been unclear because loss of pleasure in eating also leads to depression, which itself can cause loss of appetite.

The new study, published this week in the journal Cell Metabolism, implies that the loss of smell itself plays a role, and suggests possible interventions for those who have lost their smell as well as those having trouble losing weight.

- SD

There's a wealth more in the source article for the interested student but we're going to the conclusion.

Mice that were already obese lost weight after their smell was knocked out, slimming down to the size of normal mice while still eating a high-fat diet. These mice lost only fat weight, with no effect on muscle, organ or bone mass.

The UC Berkeley researchers then teamed up with colleagues in Germany who have a strain of mice that are supersmellers, with more acute olfactory nerves, and discovered that they gained more weight on a standard diet than did normal mice.

"People with eating disorders sometimes have a hard time controlling how much food they are eating and they have a lot of cravings," Riera said. "We think olfactory neurons are very important for controlling pleasure of food and if we have a way to modulate this pathway, we might be able to block cravings in these people and help them with managing their food intake."

- SD

There's no chance the Rockhouse will deliver an editorial on this one as I do know the pain of overweight except I've taken a different variety with smoking.  It's destructive but I do it anyway and you know how that goes.

For someone in trouble with weight, perhaps the loss of the sense of smell will be considered too high a price to pay since, even with my deprived proboscis, I'm aware of the pleasure of the smell of food but apparently not as much as others.  No-one likes to give up any type of pleasure and it appears, based on the science, the sense of smell must be gone or at least diminished at all times since the metabolic consequences go far beyond the consumption of the meal.

The Rockhouse has no Magic Diet Plan and we have nothing to sell but it can't hurt in taking this information back to your doctor / nutritionist to talk further about the matter.

Smoking has cost me more than I'm willing to tell you and I sincerely wish you the best of luck in finding a solution for any problems with weight you may have.

Ed:  what if smoking suppressed your sense of smell so you didn't gain weight?

I strongly caution against getting Dr Oz with this, my brothers and sisters; the Rockhouse does not practice webmedicine.  Don't concoct private theories but rather talk to a trusted physician and make up your mind from that.

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