12 posts · 6,942 views
On the sense of smell, olfactory properties and uses in medical diagnostics
All you need is love. Or failing that chocolate.And not only because dark chocolate could lower the risk of heart disease, blood pressure and sugar levels. As Dr. Schieberle's team recently discovered that heart could sense and enjoy the sweet smell of chocolate too. When they put small odor-emitting molecules from chocolate on one side of a dish, cells actually moved towards the aroma.The heart, the lungs, the blood, the sperm and testis all have the abilities to recognize chemicals responsible........ Read more »
Feldmesser E, Olender T, Khen M, Yanai I, Ophir R, & Lancet D. (2006) Widespread ectopic expression of olfactory receptor genes. BMC genomics, 121. PMID: 16716209
Schieberle P, & Molyneux RJ. (2012) Quantitation of sensory-active and bioactive constituents of food: A Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry perspective. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(10), 2404-8. PMID: 22369090
Many illnesses are associated with distinct odors. Especially those caused by infectious or opportunistic microbes inside the body or on its surfaces. Body odor of someone infected with C. difficile, for example, can appear "swampy", H. pylori can create a range of foul odors, and pseudomonas infections can smell like grapes and bitter almond. Infections like C. difficile are usually linked to a general imbalance of the intestinal microbiota, often refer........ Read more »
Bomers MK, van Agtmael MA, Luik H, van Veen MC, Vandenbroucke-Grauls CM, & Smulders YM. (2012) Using a dog's superior olfactory sensitivity to identify Clostridium difficile in stools and patients: proof of principle study. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). PMID: 23241268
You are what you eat. And you smell like your food. Well, it's actually a bit more complicated - as we emit complex combinations of volatile chemicals produced from food by our own metabolic system as well as microbes that call us home. Same foods can be translated into a wide range of odors, depending on the individual. People exhibit a large variety of smells, much more diverse than animals or plants. Thanks to variations in our digestive enzymes, diets, supplements, medicines, perfumes, deter........ Read more »
AKIYAMA, A., IMAI, K., ISHIDA, S., ITO, K., KOBAYASHI, T., NAKAMURA, H., NOSE, K., & TSUDA, T. (2006) Determination of Aromatic Compounds in Exhalated from Human Skin by Solid-Phase Micro Extraction and GC/MS with Thermo Desorption System. BUNSEKI KAGAKU, 55(10), 787-792. DOI: 10.2116/bunsekikagaku.55.787
Unpleasant body odors could be a sign of a disease. But even when the cause of the disease is known - an example is trimethylaminuria or TMAU - there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Elimination of choline and other essential nutrients from diet can be harmful and unhelpful. Everyone has their own unique needs, with individual combinations of foods, activities and optimal environmental conditions.An earlier survey of about 100 body odor and halitosis sufferers indicated stress (34%), fo........ Read more »
Havlicek, J., & Lenochova, P. (2006) The Effect of Meat Consumption on Body Odor Attractiveness. Chemical Senses, 31(8), 747-752. DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjl017
How does Christmas smell like? Like cinnamon! So say studies by European scientists. And even though the smell of cinnamon is described as "pungent" (besides "warm", 'sweet", and "spicy"), it fires up our brains, evoking a joyful Christmas mood and making us more generous. Cinnamon is classified as a stimulant. Smelling and tasting cinnamon could enhance attention and virtual recognition memory, at least in comparison to smells of peppermint, jasmine or cherries. In addition to its many heal........ Read more »
Seo HS, Buschhüter D, & Hummel T. (2009) Odor attributes change in relation to the time of the year. Cinnamon odor is more familiar and pleasant during Christmas season than summertime. Appetite, 53(2), 222-5. PMID: 19576937
Hlebowicz, J., Hlebowicz, A., Lindstedt, S., Bjorgell, O., Hoglund, P., Holst, J., Darwiche, G., & Almer, L. (2009) Effects of 1 and 3 g cinnamon on gastric emptying, satiety, and postprandial blood glucose, insulin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide, glucagon-like peptide 1, and ghrelin concentrations in healthy subjects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 89(3), 815-821. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.26807
Why do I smell like Ammonia? This question, in thousands of variations, has been asked over and over again at every major question/answer site, especially teen, bodybuilding and athletic forums.The Internet provides plenty of opinions.Medical sites talk about diseases like chronic kidney failure, hepatic cirrhosis or H. pylori infection. Fitness sites recommend drinking more water, reevaluating protein sources and eating more carbohydrates. What are these diet-odor links? And what's the Science?........ Read more »
Hovsepyan, M., Sargsyan, E., & Bergsten, P. (2010) Palmitate-induced changes in protein expression of insulin secreting INS-1E cells. Journal of Proteomics, 73(6), 1148-1155. DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2010.01.012
Body odor is closely associated with diet. Deciphering the chemistry of human odor is not an easy task. Fortunately for some (and not so fortunately for others), the human nose can capture and discriminate many smell signatures. Could this discrimination be used to connect the dots between diet and body odor? MEBO Research has just started an anonymous study using the Aurametrix health analysis tool to find out.... Read more »
Bolton B, & Halpern BP. (2010) Orthonasal and retronasal but not oral-cavity-only discrimination of vapor-phase fatty acids. Chemical senses, 35(3), 229-38. PMID: 20100787
New research from Japan brings good news: dogs can be almost as accurate as a colonoscopy exam.In patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) and controls, the sensitivity of canine scent detection of breath samples compared with conventional diagnosis by colonoscopy was 0.91 and the specificity was 0.99. The sensitivity of canine scent detection of watery stool samples was 0.97 and the specificity was 0.99. The ........ Read more »
Sonoda H, Kohnoe S, Yamazato T, Satoh Y, Morizono G, Shikata K, Morita M, Watanabe A, Morita M, Kakeji Y.... (2011) Colorectal cancer screening with odour material by canine scent detection. Gut. PMID: 21282130
Physicians always knew that breath contains clues to diseases. Chemicals in breath often correlate with chemicals in saliva and blood - be it alcohol, anaesthetics or other metabolites (see, for example, this study by Dr Andreas Hengstenberg).As one of my interests is breath-based detection of ovarian cancer, I took note of the recent paper claiming 99% to 100% accuracy of detecting ovarian cancer by metabolites in blood. The authors used customized functional support vector machine-based machin........ Read more »
Zhou M, Guan W, Walker LD, Mezencev R, Benigno BB, Gray A, Fernández FM, & McDonald JF. (2010) Rapid Mass Spectrometric Metabolic Profiling of Blood Sera Detects Ovarian Cancer with High Accuracy. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers . PMID: 20699376
Researchers have known for years that smell of cancer patients is chemically different from healthy individuals. One more study featured in British Journal of Cancer brings us a bit closer to an inexpensive, easy-to-use, portable device for home diagnostics. Exhaled breath collected from 177 volunteers (patients with lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancers and healthy controls) was examined by gold nanoparticle nanosensor arrays (GNPs) and gas chromatography linked to the mass spectr........ Read more »
Peng G, Hakim M, Broza YY, Billan S, Abdah-Bortnyak R, Kuten A, Tisch U, & Haick H. (2010) Detection of lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers from exhaled breath using a single array of nanosensors. British journal of cancer, 103(4), 542-51. PMID: 20648015
Body odors are important cues used for social and sexual discrimination. As was shown many times, animals can easily smell age-, health- and genetics-related differences. Recent study of our large-eyed relatives, ring-tailed lemurs, demonstrate that drugs can alter body scents and change behavior. Researchers examined changes in endocrine and semiochemical profiles of sexually mature female lemurs treated with hormonal contraceptives during their breeding season. Genetic diversity and kin........ Read more »
Jeremy Chase Crawford,Marylène Boulet and Christine M. Drea1. (2010) Smelling wrong: hormonal contraception in lemurs alters critical female odour cues. Proceedings B . info:/
Odor is like fingerprints or facial features - it's unique. Yet no single measurement could be easily applied to recognize an individual. GC/MS measurements can be used to analyze mixtures of acids, alcohols, aldehydes, hydrocarbons, esters, ketones, and nitrogenous molecules in human odor. Complex algorithms mining patterns help to pinpoint the signatures. But could these signatures be easily derived from genetic makeups?Recent article published in the Journal of Chemical Ecology looked at ........ Read more »
Natsch A, Kuhn F, & Tiercy JM. (2010) Lack of Evidence for HLA-Linked Patterns of Odorous Carboxylic Acids Released from Glutamine Conjugates Secreted in the Human Axilla. Journal of chemical ecology. PMID: 20623248
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