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Author Topic: Can you gain calories by smelling foods?  (Read 24561 times)

Gilbert W. Spears

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« on: 02/03/2010 13:30:02 »
Gilbert W. Spears  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Hello,

I would like to know if you gain calories by smelling foods?  

More specifically, can you absorb nutrition in ways other that eating?  I realize it would be a very small amount and it would have no practical application, but I'm just curious.  

I have never heard a satisfactory answer.
 
Thanks for the great show,
 
Gilbert W. Spears

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 02/03/2010 13:30:02 by _system »


 

Offline Spannerman

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #1 on: 02/03/2010 18:13:38 »
No, the only way for your body to absorb nutrition is by means of the digestive system, (this would be the calorie gaining nutrition).
As breathing in would result in the air going to your lungs, even if there was nutrition in the smell/gas given off you would not be able to absorb it through your lungs.

Satisfactory?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #2 on: 02/03/2010 19:51:17 »
Actually, you could.
Ethanol is a source of calories and it's readily absorbed through the lungs (lots of things are- that's why gases can be toxic). Once it's in the bloodstream the body can't "remember" how it got there.
I could calculate the number of calories a day you could pick up this way but it would be too small to matter.
 

Offline Spannerman

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #3 on: 03/03/2010 16:24:27 »
Thank you for correcting me, but I am right in saying that this wouldn't have an effect, due to the low amount?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #4 on: 03/03/2010 18:41:31 »
it would be too small to matter.
 

Offline RD

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #5 on: 03/03/2010 20:24:42 »
Quote from: Gilbert W. Spears  link=topic=29035.msg301941#msg301941 date=1267536602
... can you absorb nutrition in ways other that eating?

Quote
Parenteral nutrition (PN) is feeding a person intravenously, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion. The person receives nutritional formulas containing salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins. It is called total parenteral nutrition (TPN) when no food is given by other routes.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenteral_nutrition
 

Offline Blithely Doubting

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #6 on: 04/03/2010 13:51:14 »
Hi all,
Thanks for the responses.  I'm still a bit unsure.  I understand that inhalation will not provide the best diet, but would it provide any useful substance at all, even the tiniest amount?  It seems like the body would have to do something useful with the inhaled particles.  Also, is it only necessary for the substances to make it to the blood to be considered nutrition?

Thanks,
Gilbert Spears
 

Offline Spannerman

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #7 on: 04/03/2010 13:56:01 »
Quote
inhalation will not provide the best diet, but would it provide any useful

Air?
 

Offline Blithely Doubting

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #8 on: 04/03/2010 14:07:54 »
Quote from: Gilbert W. Spears  link=topic=29035.msg301941#msg301941 date=1267536602
... can you absorb nutrition in ways other that eating?

Quote
Parenteral nutrition (PN) is feeding a person intravenously, bypassing the usual process of eating and digestion. The person receives nutritional formulas containing salts, glucose, amino acids, lipids and added vitamins. It is called total parenteral nutrition (TPN) when no food is given by other routes.
newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parenteral_nutrition [nonactive]
I am aware of ivs, but that's not exactly what i meant by absorb.
 

Offline Blithely Doubting

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #9 on: 04/03/2010 14:08:38 »
Quote
inhalation will not provide the best diet, but would it provide any useful

Air?
Thank you for that chuckle. :D
 

Offline bosede

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #10 on: 04/03/2010 16:39:06 »
By smelling foods especially the aroma of food constantly,you can acquire calories but in a small quantities because food nutrient elements can diffuse across the tissues and food substances can exist in the three state of matter:solid,liquid and gas.   
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #11 on: 04/03/2010 19:01:47 »
Don't try this at home (or anywhere else).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/6069076.stm
 

Offline RD

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
« Reply #12 on: 04/03/2010 21:58:56 »
Don't try this at home (or anywhere else).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/6069076.stm

This sounds like a more refined method ...
Quote
Alcohol Without Liquid (AWOL) is a process introduced first in Asia and Europe that allows people to take in liquor (distilled spirits) without actually consuming liquid. The machine vaporizes alcohol and mixes it with oxygen, allowing the consumer to breathe in the mixture.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcohol_without_liquid

No Smoking !
« Last Edit: 04/03/2010 22:01:22 by RD »
 

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Can you gain calories by smelling foods?
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