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Role of Smell

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Smell and Health

On these pages you will find various articles on smell (mechanics of smell, theories of smell), taste, smell and health (below), therapeutic use of smell and these topics will be updated regularly.
If you have lost your sense of smell (Anosmia) then you should go to 5th Sense.

Smell as an indicator of health A fascinating and alarming study by Pinto in Martha McClintock's lab shows that olfactory loss is a predictor of death. In a population of 3000 from 57-85 years old, 39% of those with anosmia (loss of smell) were dead in 5 years compared to 10% of those with a normal sense of smell. This was the greatest predictor of death other than acute liver damage. Why is this? Well, it's not clear but the smell receptor cells are very exposed to the environment and pollution and also to viruses. Viruses can enter the body and get to the brain via the olfactory receptor cells, for example see the viral theory of Parkinson's Disease. Also, these cells are constantly renewing thems…