Of the five senses, the one that you’d think directly affects how much you weigh is taste, with smell in a close second. But according to the makers of Sensa, smell is even more important than you think. Sensa is a seasoning weight-loss product that not only makes your food tastier, but gives it a scent that is appealing and makes you less hungry.
Sensa’s makers say that their product stimulates the olfactory bulb, which is the organ that transmits smell from the nose to the brain to signal that you are full.
“Eighty percent of what you perceive as taste is actually smell,” said Christopher Adams, a molecular biologist and the founder of Compellis Pharmaceuticals.
Adams’ company began testing a nasal spray that does the opposite of what Sensa does, but with hopefully the same results: curb the appetite by blocking instead of enhancing the smell of food.
I prefer enjoying the smell of food, don’t you?
“The hypothesis is that if we can alter your sense of smell we can make food less palatable, because the hedonic effect – that is, the pleasurable effect you get from eating chocolate – won’t be there,” says Adams.
Who wants to take the pleasure out of eating food? Not me.
Sensa is not cheap. A one-month supply costs $59, $145 for three months, and $235 for six months.
Some experts exclaim that further studies are needed. Some even doubt the connection between smell and weight loss.
Mark I. Friedman, associate director of Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, says that the sight, taste, and smell of food may result in the release of insulin and an increase in metabolism. However, “those kinds of effects are short-lived. If you constantly smelled something you would adapt to the odor, and you wouldn’t smell it anymore.”
(via: The New York Times)
June 24th, 2009