4 research outputs found

    Insulin Resistance Is Associated with Reduced Food Odor Sensitivity across a Wide Range of Body Weights

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    The worldwide obesity epidemic is a major health problem driven by the modern food environment. Recently, it has been shown that smell perception plays a key role in eating behavior and is altered in obesity. However, the underlying mechanisms of this phenomenon are not well understood yet. Since the olfactory system is closely linked to the endocrine system, we hypothesized that hormonal shifts in obesity might explain this relationship. In a within-subject, repeated-measures design, we investigated sensitivity to a food and a non-food odor in the hungry and sated state in 75 young healthy (26 normal weight, 25 overweight, and 24 obese) participants (37 women). To determine metabolic health status and hormonal reactivity in response to food intake, we assessed pre- and postprandial levels of insulin, leptin, glucose, and ghrelin. Odor sensitivity did not directly depend on body weight status/body mass index (BMI) or hunger state. However, we could establish a strong negative mediating effect of insulin resistance on the relationship between BMI/waist-hip ratio and olfactory sensitivity for the food odor. These findings indicate an impact of metabolic health status on sensitivity to food odors. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms behind altered smell perception in obesity.Peer reviewe

    Lost in Translation? On the Need for Convergence in Animal and Human Studies on the Role of Dopamine in Diet-Induced Obesity

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    Purpose of Review: Animal and human studies suggest that diet-induced obesity and plasticity in the central dopaminergic system are linked. However, it is unclear whether observed changes depend on diet or obesity, and whether they are specific to brain regions and cognitive functions. Here, we focus on neural and cognitive changes in frontostriatal circuits. Recent Findings: Both diet and obesity affect dopaminergic transmission. However, site and direction of effects are inconsistent across species and studies. Non-specific changes are observed spanning all frontostriatal loops, from sensory input to motivated behaviour. Given the impact of peripheral signals on central dopaminergic signalling and the interaction between the frontostriatal loops, modulation of dopamine likely propagates through all loops and, thus, affects behaviour on various levels of complexity. Summary: To improve convergence between animal and human studies on diet-induced obesity, animal studies should include sophisticated cognitive measures and diets resembling human obesogenic diets, and human studies should adopt diet interventions and longitudinal designs.Peer reviewe

    Reduced olfactory bulb volume in obesity and its relation to metabolic health status

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    Smell perception plays an important role in eating behavior and might be involved in body weight gain. Since a body of literature implies that olfactory perception and function is hampered in obesity, we here investigate neuroanatomical correlates of this phenomenon. We assessed olfactory bulb (OB) volume with magnetic resonance imaging in 67 healthy participants with a body mass index (BMI) from 18.9 to 45.4 kg/m2 (mean = 28.58 ± 6.64). Moreover, we obtained psychophysiological data on olfactory ability (Sniffin’ Sticks, Food associated odor test) and self-report measurements on eating behavior. Additionally, we collected parameters associated with metabolic health in obesity (waist-hip ratio, waist-height ratio, leptin levels, body fat percentage, fat mass index, insulin resistance) to investigate recently proposed mechanistic explanatory models of why olfaction may be altered in obesity. We showed that OB volume was significantly lower in participants with obesity when compared to those of normal weight. Moreover, we found weak to moderate negative correlations between OB volume and BMI and related measures of metabolic health, especially leptin, body fat percentage, waist-height ratio and insulin resistance. However, neither OB volume nor BMI were related to olfactory function in our young and healthy sample. Nevertheless, our results provide first indications that obesity is associated with brain anatomical changes in the OBs.Peer reviewe

    Olfactory perception in obesity - an fMRI study

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