American scientists from the Baylor's Huffington Center in Houston have established a link between the perception of odors and how fat accumulates in the body. They emphasize that they do not yet understand the nature of this connection, but it is obvious that the diet and the smell of food have nothing to do with it. The perception of smell directly affects metabolism, forcing the body to store fat in a different way.
All work was carried out on C. elegans worms. These worms have only three pairs of olfactory neurons, and therefore it is possible to track the passage of signals through each. Also, worms perceive a very small range of odors that are easy to recreate. For comparison, a person has 10-120 million pairs of such neurons, and a trained aroma specialist recognizes up to 30, 000 individual odors.
Scientists have used optogenic light stimulation to track the functioning of olfactory neurons, to check the passage of signals through individual nerve circuits and neuroendocrine pathways, where control over the mechanisms of fat accumulation takes place. They were able to track changes in the operation of this system depending on different smells. Observers emphasize that the experimental worms ate regular food and no changes were recorded in the control group.
The intermediate conclusion says that now we have to monitor not only what we eat, but also what smells surround us, if we do not want to get fat or emaciated. But what kind of smells are relevant to people, scientists cannot yet say - this is the subject of further research. They have no doubt that signals from the brain and nervous system constantly affect the work of the gastrointestinal tract, it remains only to understand the details of the work of this mechanism.
C. elegans worm. Yellow pixels show high fat tissue