"This opens up a lot of possibilities for obesity research, said post-doctoral researcher Nicolas Thiebaud."
New York, July 22 - Stuffing yourself regularly with pizza or hamburger or any other high-fat food can put you at the risk of losing sense of smell, research warns.
In a study examining how high-fat foods impacted smell, neuroscientists from Florida State University found that high-fat diet is linked to major structural and functional changes in the olfactory system, which gives us our sense of smell.
In lab experiments, mice were given a high-fat daily diet while also being taught to associate between a particular odour and a reward (water).
Mice that were fed the high-fat diets were slower to learn the association than the control population.
When researchers introduced a new odour to monitor their adjustment, the mice with the high-fat diets could not rapidly adapt, demonstrating reduced smell capabilities.
Moreover, when high-fat-reared mice were placed on a diet of control food during which they returned to normal body weight and blood chemistry, mice still had reduced olfactory capacities, Debra Ann Fadool, a biological science professor at Florida State University, explained.
Mice exposed to high-fat diets only had 50 percent of the neurons that could operate to encode odour signals.
It is the first time researchers had been able to demonstrate a solid link between a bad diet and a loss of smell.
This opens up a lot of possibilities for obesity research, said post-doctoral researcher Nicolas Thiebaud.
Their work is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.