A super sensitive sense of smell can lead to weight gain

There’s not much better than the smell of your favourite food — except that it might lead to you putting on the kilos. An interesting new study has shown that smell plays a role in managing your metabolism, and the more sensitive your nose, the more weight you’ll put on.

The study by the University of California, Berkeley, reported that mice who had lost their sense of smell did not gain weight, even when eating the exact same high-fat diet as a group of rats with their sense of smell who did gain weight.

While we’re yet to see if this phenomenon translates into humans, it points to a possible connection between our sense of smell and metabolism regulation.

“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 study author Céline Riera.

“The cool thing about olfactory nerves is that they are totally unique. They’re not in brain, they’re in the nose. Maybe in future, we can non-invasively block them in humans. Maybe if you can remove olfaction in the patients for several months, it may help them lose weight,” she said.

But for now, there’s not much use holding your nose while you divulge in your cheat meal. You’re better off watching your portions and controlling the amount of sugary and fatty foods you eat to keep the weight off.