Friday, 14 July 2017

Mice shed weight when they can’t smell—but not because they stop eating


By Mitch LeslieJul. 5, 2017 , 12:00 PM

When you have a stuffy nose, a slice of freshly baked apple pie tastes like mush. But not being able to smell your food could have a surprising effect on your metabolism, potentially helping you remain thin even when you eat fatty foods, a new study in mice suggests.

“This is a very exciting study, and the outcome is quite compelling,” says neuroendocrinologist Tamas Horvath of Yale School of Medicine, who wasn’t connected to the research.

To conduct the study, molecular biologist Andrew Dillin of the University of California, Berkeley, and colleagues turned to a variety of genetically altered mice. The scientists gave them regular doses of the diphtheria toxin—which causes a temporary loss of odor-sensing neurons—to suppress their sense of smell. They then fed the rodents either a normal diet or fatty foods—the mouse equivalent of cheesecake and pizza—that usually induce obesity.


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