OBESITY

Hold your nose to prevent obesity

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Science  11 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 561-562
DOI: 10.1126/science.357.6351.561-f

The sense of smell (olfaction) can affect the appreciation and anticipation of food. Riera et al. found that the activity of olfactory sensory neurons also influences energy regulation. Inhibition of olfactory perception in lean mice and mice with diet-induced obesity showed that losing the sense of smell resulted in leaner mice, but not because they ate less. Mice that could not smell had higher levels of energy expenditure and fat-burning capacity because sympathetic nerve activity became elevated in adipose tissue. Conversely, mice with hypersensitive olfaction had greater adiposity and exhibited signs of diabetes. It appears that being able to smell has a direct systemic effect on regulating body energy homeostasis.

Cell Metab. 26, 198 (2017).

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