Too Much Perfume Might Signal Depression
January 8, 2008
Most Popular in Alternative Therapy Treatments
- 187How to Choose Ancillary Services for Your Wellness Center
- 137The Profitable Aromatherapy Customizing Bar
- 118Holistic Beauty and Skin Health: How Whole is Holistic? Part 1
- 10713 Tips for Increasing Emotional Resilience in 2013
- 83The Health Benefits of Meditation
- 75Music Therapy Found to Have Physical and Mental Benefits
- 36Holistic Beauty: Understanding the Mind-Body of Skin Care
- 35Whole Remedies for Holistic Skin Care
- 23New York Wellness Center Provides Dry Salt Therapy
- 21The Psychology of Touch
That's the conclusion of Dr. Yehuda Shoenfeld, a physician and autoimmune disease researcher at Tel Aviv University in Israel who studies "autoantibodies." This class of chemicals launches attacks against the body's cells, often in patients with autoimmune disease such as lupus.
"Our scientific findings suggest that women who are depressed are also losing their sense of smell, and may overcompensate by using more perfume," he said.
Shoenfeld and his colleagues used autoantibodies to cause depression in female mice, and found that the chemicals turned off olfactory gland cells, which are responsible for a sense of smell. The treatment plugged the creatures' smelling abilities—without actually plugging their noses—and caused them to lose weight.
Mice are thought to be good models for how the human body and brain work.
"Loss of weight is one of the first signs of depression in autoimmune disease patients," Shoenfeld told LiveScience. "If you can't smell, you don't eat because you don't enjoy the food. If you don't eat, you lose weight."
But is the link between depression and overly scented women limited to autoimmune disease patients? Shoenfeld doesn't think so.
"Depression operates similarly in people who do and do not have a disease," he said, which might explain why some men slap on too much cologne, too. Whatever the case, Shoenfeld thinks that physicians—including himself—need to focus more on smell in relation to a person's health.
"We are aware of all the senses, but have neglected smell for a long time," he said. "It was only three years ago that two scientists won Nobel prizes for deciphering receptors for smell in humans. We still have a lot of work to do in what I believe is an extremely important area."
- Studies Show Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
1/22/2013, Nicole Urbanowicz
- Promote Sleep Awareness: With Exclusive Commentary From Massage Envy About How to Talk Sleep With Your Clients
3/9/2011, Cathy Christensen
- Electro-acupuncture May Aid in Easing Knee Pain
1/29/2010, Cathy Christensen
- Acupuncture Shown to Aid Pain Managment
9/3/2009, Cathy Christensen
- Acupuncture Shown to Ease Indigestion in Pregnant Women
6/12/2009, Cathy Christensen