A new study set out to specifically analyze the possible relationship between a mouse’s sense of smell and its fat-burning capabilities.
Namely, research found that a rodent with no olfactory perception won’t put on as many pounds as one with standard smelling abilities and the same diet. At the same time, a mouse with super-smelling traits will gain even more weight than both these two others.
UC Berkeley, the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research, Germany, and the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences, California, researchers conducted this study.
These looked to find a possible link between olfaction and “energy homeostasis” or the ability to burn fat. They did so by studying both lean and fat mice, whose olfactory sensory nerves had been temporarily destroyed.
Sense of Smell to Determine Weight Gain in Mice
The test mice were split into two categories, one of them being used as a control group. Remaining mice got their olfactory nerves closed off through two techniques. Then, all of the rodents were put on a special dietary plan, one capable of leading even to obesity.
The mice whose sense of smell had been blocked out were noted to resist this diet. Namely, they presented an increased fat burning activity, as their white fat was transformed into brown one. In contrast, the control group members gained quite a few pounds.
At the end of the tests, these latter had mostly doubled their initial weight. The weight of the rodents with no sense of olfaction increased by only 10 percent. Test mice deemed obese were noted to have lost fat weight. Also, their bone mass, organs, or muscles were left unaffected.
“Acute loss of smell perception after obesity onset not only abrogated further weight gain but also improved fat mass and insulin resistance,” stated the researchers.
Further tests had mice with a super sense of smell on the same diet. It then compared them to their normal olfaction relatives. This showed that these gained even more pounds than the other groups.
According to the lead author, Céline Riera, this is among the first studies to really point out the link between the sense of smell and the way in which the brain perceives and regulates the energy balance.
Study results are available in the journal Cell Metabolism.
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