For long, health experts have regarded fats as major culprits in perpetrating various lifestyle diseases like obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc. A previous study has even linked a high fat diet with an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Now, neuroscientists at Florida State University have unearthed another health danger associated with a high-fat diet. According to their study, a high fat diet may adversely affect our sense of smell. (More: High-Fat Diets Linked to Certain Types of Breast Cancer)The study, led by post-doctoral researcher Nicolas Thiebaud, found that a high-fat diet is linked to major structural and functional changes in the olfactory system, which gives us our sense of smell. The research was conducted over a six-month period where mice were given a high-fat diet daily, while also being taught to associate between a particular odour and a reward (water).It was found that mice that were fed the high-fat diets were slower to learn the association than the control population. When the 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 chow during which they returned to normal body weight and blood chemistry, they still had reduced olfactory capacities," Fadool said. "Mice exposed to high-fat diets only had 50 per cent of the neurons that could operate to encode odour signals," Fadool added.
Researchers will now look at whether exercise can slow down a high-fat diet's impact on smell and whether a high-sugar diet would also yield the same negative results on smell as a high-fat diet. The study is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.Inputs from PTI
For the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and YouTube.