Science Continues To Discover Human Freakonomics:
So as research on weight-loss and other health-concerns goes on, we’re reminded in new ways how quirky human beings really are.
Whether it’s the revelation that speed-eating makes you gain weight faster,
Or even the part of those studies that show the experience of tasting is actually more smelling the food than anything else.
And in its pursuit of the weird side of humanity, Science is discovering an even more interesting part of diet.
How you smell your food may affect your health in really unexpected ways…
The Whole Experience:
So before science ever got involved, chefs were the early experimenters who knew that food was mostly about smell.
And then we learned that not only do people who eat too fast not enjoy their food because they don’t smell it,
They’re actually less satisfied by the meal, and more likely to be depressed.
And therein lies the clue to the study results that are even more interesting
Smelling Your Food Also Does Something Amazing:
In a set of experiments based on smell, a team of UC Berkeley researchers found that smell has an amazing connection to a big health problem:
It turns out mice who can smell their food have a Completely different metabolism than those who can’t.
Mice who have super-smelling abilities are even more different from them.
And this might even be a big deal for the fat-burning abilities of people, too.
Fast Weight-Loss With All Factors Constant, Too!:
So in the studies, three groups of mice were put on the same low-quality, high-calorie diet,
A kind of mousey junk-food, like burgers & fries.
But counterintuitively though their end-weights differed, each group of mice ate the same amount of food.
-They even Exercised the same amount!
But somehow the mice who had normal senses doubled their weight, and the ones who had no sense of smell gained no more than 10%.
The extra-sensory ones got even fatter than the normal-smellers.
The Handicap That’s A Superpower:
So for some odd reason, researchers decided to make a mouse with no sense of smell, and found that there is a strange mechanism present.
If they can’t smell what they’re eating, the bodies of mice do an amazing thing.
Just like clever Japanese biochemists, they increase their metabolism and convert non-metabolic parts to those that actually can burn calories.
Some part of a mouse’s body adjusts to compensate for an impairment in their brains.
The Weight-Loss Results? Actually Stellar!:
So the amazing mouse can ramp-up its metabolism in all kinds of awesome & unexpected ways.
But they’re also stars at weight-loss, too!
The mice without smell didn’t just lose weight, -but they lost Only Fat!
It didn’t matter if they were normal weight or obese, junk-food diet or not.
And that’s really the hope for this type of drug.
-That it can make people lose Only Fat, no matter what kind of diet they’re on.
And this is Absolutely Key, as excess fat screws up your entire hormonal balance.
Don’t Despair. It’s Not Just Mice, Humans Do This Too!:
That’s right, people who end up with brain-injuries that destroy their sense of smell also have metabolisms that ramp way up. -Which is where researchers might’ve gotten the idea, actually.
In-fact, many of them end up having some type of anorexia, and can’t keep weight on.
So in that way, we’re similar to mice, even though we don’t change over our static fat-cells into metabolic fat-cells.
The only problem?
The way this happens in humans is an increase in hormones that can cause heart-attacks when they get too high.
And What Is This Good For?:
So the hope in finding this bizarre brain-metabolism connection is to help people who are clinically obese and considering drastic-measures.
If there’s some non-surgical way to help people lose weight and fat that may be destroying their health, then perhaps it can be made available.
Doctors and drug companies would of-course have to make sure humans didn’t have heart-attacks in the process, as right now it looks like hormones increase and metabolic-fat doesn’t.
Cutting Off Your Nose To Smite Your Fat May Only Go So Far:
But the sobering message from the trials is that it’s unlikely to be more than a temporary adjustment-tool.
You see, the mice who lost weight in the 1st trials with normal healthy food got back to a normal weight after their sense of smell came back,
And it’s probably not something that should be taken-away permanently.
If that happened, they might just die of anorexia.
So similarly, obese people might get a fix for their current problems,
But eventually, they’d need to implement healthier eating habits & proper-nutrition long-term.
Good Nutrition Will Still Probably Be The Ultimate Solution:
That’s not saying pharmaceutical companies couldn’t figure out some low-dose that’s safer for greater periods of time,
It’s just unlikely to be used for very long periods due to the increased risk of heart-attack.
There might even be some patients who are so compromised in their cardio-health already that this trick might not even be allowable.
Either way, though Science (& Hollywood) will never stop coming up with amazing fixes to every bodyfat problem we have,
Eating properly is still likely to be the long-term solution, even after a medical miracle like making easy, fast weight-loss a reality by just shutting-off your nose.
Photo Credits: “nose”, by Viv Lynch
• Source: UCBerkeley
• via: TheScienceOfUs
• Source Study: CellMet-The Sense of Smell Impacts Metabolic Health and Obesity