You can influence fat metabolism in the body by using odors

Scientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Center for Aging at Baylor found that aromas can influence fat metabolism. Specialists were looking for methods to get rid of fat deposits without diet correction: it turned out that some neurons, which are activated by certain scents, have an effect on lipid metabolism. 

The scents we smell first affect the olfactory receptors and then send a signal to accumulations of olfactory neurons in the brain, where information is processed. For their experiments, scientists have chosen the C. elegans worm - its olfactory system is easier to arrange than that of humans. It includes only three pairs of olfactory neurons that respond to odors: some scents selectively activate or suppress just one neuron, while others affect entire groups of nerve cells. In a series of experiments, scientists were able to select scents that change fat metabolism, and to determine with the activation of which neurons it is associated. The experts then worked on these nerve cells using the optogenetic method, i.e. light. As a result, scientists were able to trace the path by which olfactory neurons influence the endocrine system and metabolic processes. 

The authors of the work believe that their research has opened up new levers of influence on fat metabolism, as well as to understand why some people are more resistant to metabolic problems than others - it may be associated with different susceptibility to smells. Scientists also recall other studies that have found links between smells, fat metabolism and certain neurodegenerative diseases. For example, it has been found that people with Alzheimer's have frequent fat metabolic disorders. 

April 22, 2020, 9:41 a.m.

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