Aim: Olfaction and gustation have great importance on feeding behavior and food preferences. Recent published data suggests that olfaction and taste functions are modulated in response to changing levels of various molecules such as ghrelin and leptin which are play important roles on feeding and energy balance. We aimed to investigate the olfaction and taste functions in obese female patients and the association between serum ghrelin and leptin levels compared with healthy controls.
Methods: Fifty two obese women who have body mass index >30 kg/m2 and 15 healthy women were included in to the study. After 8 h of fasting, blood samples were taken for serum biochemical parameters, ghrelin and leptin levels measurement. For the quantitative assessment of olfactory function, all participants underwent on N-butanol threshold test and odor identification test by using 12 Sniffin Sticks ready-made fragrance sticks. The gustatory function was tested by administering a whole-mouth above-threshold test using sucrose solutions.
Results: The sucrose taste threshold score in obese women was significantly higher than the controls (P=0.004). N-butanol smell threshold was not significantly different between the two groups (P=0.149) while the Sniffin Sticks smell test scores were significantly lower in obese women compared with the controls (P=0.007). Serum leptin levels were also significantly higher in obese women (P<0.001) although there was no significant difference in serum ghrelin levels between the two groups (P=0.768).
Conclusion: No significant association was observed between olfaction and taste functions and serum ghrelin levels of obese individuals. It was found that serum leptin levels were increased while taste and smell functions were decreased in obese women. These results might suggest that leptin, which is an anorexigenic peptide, may have a negative effect on taste and smell functions.
20 - 23 May 2017
European Society of Endocrinology