BERKELEY, Calif. (CBS Local) – The sense of smell plays an integral role in the enjoyment of food, but is it possible that a person will gain more weight if they have a better sense of smell?
According to a University of California, Berkeley, study, smell does play a role in metabolism.
For the study, researchers split mice into groups that had little to no ability to smell, normal ability and strong ability. They were all given the same diet and same serving size, but the mice with a poor sense of smell slimmed down, while the mice with an average or strong ability to smell gained more weight.
“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 researcher and former UC Berkeley postdoctoral fellow.
It is possible that the inability to smell may trick the body into thinking its full, leading to less consumption and less weight gain, the researchers said.
“Sensory systems play a role in metabolism,” said lead researcher Andrew Dillin. “Weight gain isn’t purely a measure of the calories taken in; it’s also related to how those calories are perceived.”