OSAKA, Japan, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Japanese researchers say they've determined the scent of grapefruit has slimming effects while the aroma of lavender can make you fat.
Professor Katsuya Nagano, head of Osaka University's Institute for Protein Research, told the Mainichi Daily News: "I was a skeptic about the effects of aromatherapy, so reaching this conclusion was a real surprise."
The research showed the scent of grapefruit activates animals' sympathetic nerves, which break down fat while restraining the activities of the digestive systems. The scent of lavender, on the other hand, intensifies activities of parasympathetic nerves and creates the opposite effect.
The study involved the use of laboratory rats. The average weight of one group that was made to smell the scent of grapefruits three times a week went up from 250 grams to 400 grams -- about 20 grams lighter than a second group exposed to no scent of any kind.
A third group exposed to the aroma of lavender three times a week had an average weight gain of 420 grams.
The newspaper said the research is the first to scientifically show the connection between weight change and odors.