Scientific publications

An increase in visceral fat is associated with a decrease in the taste and olfactory capacity

Fernandez-Garcia JC (1,2), Alcaide J (2), Santiago-Fernandez C (2), Roca-Rodriguez MM (2), Aguera Z (1,3), Baños R (1,4), Botella C (1,5), de la Torre R (1,6,7), Fernandez-Real JM (1,8), Fruhbeck G (1,9), Gomez-Ambrosi J (1,9), Jimenez-Murcia S (1,10), Menchon JM (3,10,11), Casanueva FF (1,12), Fernandez-Aranda F (1,3,10), Tinahones FJ (1,2), Garrido-Sanchez L (1,2).
(1) CIBER Fisiopatología Obesidad y Nutrición (CIBERObn), Instituto Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain.
(2) Unidad de Gestión Clínica de Endocrinología y Nutrición, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Málaga (IBIMA), Hospital Clínico Virgen de la Victoria, Málaga, Spain.
(3) Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Bellvitge-IDIBELL, Barcelona, Spain.
(4) Department of Psychological, Personality, Evaluation and Treatment of the University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
(5) Department of Basic Psychology, Clinic and Psychobiology of the University Jaume I, Castelló, Spain.
(6) Human Pharmacology and Clinical Neurosciences Research Group, Neuroscience Research Program, IMIM (Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute), Barcelona, Spain.
(7) Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona, Spain.
(8) Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Institutd'Investigació Biomèdica de Girona (IdlBGi) Hospital Dr Josep Trueta, Girona, Spain.
(9) Metabolic Research Laboratory, Clínica Universidad de Navarra, University of Navarra-IdiSNA, Pamplona, Spain.
(10) Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
(11) CIBER Salud Mental (CIBERSAM), Instituto Salud Carlos III, Barcelona, Spain.
(12) Endocrine Division, Complejo Hospitalario U. de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela University, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. 

Magazine: PLoS One

Date: Feb 3, 2017

Endocrinology and Nutrition [SP]

INTRODUCTION:
Sensory factors may play an important role in the determination of appetite and food choices. Also, some adipokines may alter or predict the perception and pleasantness of specific odors. We aimed to analyze differences in smell-taste capacity between females with different weights and relate them with fat and fat-free mass, visceral fat, and several adipokines.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
179 females with different weights (from low weight to morbid obesity) were studied. We analyzed the relation between fat, fat-free mass, visceral fat (indirectly estimated by bioelectrical impedance analysis with visceral fat rating (VFR)), leptin, adiponectin and visfatin. The smell and taste assessments were performed through the "Sniffin' Sticks" and "Taste Strips" respectively.

RESULTS:
We found a lower score in the measurement of smell (TDI-score (Threshold, Discrimination and Identification)) in obese subjects. All the olfactory functions measured, such as threshold, discrimination, identification and the TDI-score, correlated negatively with age, body mass index (BMI), leptin, fat mass, fat-free mass and VFR.

In a multiple linear regression model, VFR mainly predicted the TDI-score. With regard to the taste function measurements, the normal weight subjects showed a higher score of taste functions. However a tendency to decrease was observed in the groups with greater or lesser BMI. In a multiple linear regression model VFR and age mainly predicted the total taste scores.

DISCUSSION:
We show for the first time that a reverse relationship exists between visceral fat and sensory signals, such as smell and taste, across a population with different body weight conditions.

CITATION PLoS One. 2017 Feb 3;12(2):e0171204. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171204. eCollection 2017

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