This new weight loss technique may require a nose plug.

A surprising study published in the Cell Metabolism journal has found that smelling your food will make you gain weight.

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, came across these findings when they blocked off the sense of smell for one mouse and left the other with their sniffing sensors intact.

Both of the mice followed the exact same high-fat diet.

The researchers then tested their findings in a second mouse model. In this model, they used a virus that killed olfactory neurons when inhaled and came up with very similar results.

The mice that could smell got fat while the mice that couldn’t smell lost weight or remained at a normal size. In addition to that, they found that the mice that lost weight only lost fat while retaining their muscles. For the mice that had their sense of smell heightened, they put on even more pounds.

Naturally, you might assume that the mouse who couldn’t smell just ate less because it couldn’t fully enjoy its meal without its sense of smell.

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That’s where things get interesting.

It turns out that the part of the brain that regulates our metabolism has a connection to our smell system (or olfactory inputs) in our body.

“This paper is one of the first studies that really shows if we manipulate olfactory inputs we can actually alter how the brain perceives energy balance, and how the brain regulates energy balance,” Celine Riera, assistant professor in the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center told Berkeley News.

Riera explained that like mice, humans have a sensitive nose when they’re hungry. So it’s possible that being unable to smell might trick the brain into thinking that we’re full. If we’re hungry, our body stores calories, not knowing when we’ll get to eat again.

The researchers say they hope to one day develop a medication that can make use of these new findings without permanently affecting a person’s sense of smell.

Article came courtesy of The Toronto Sun