Olfactory stimulation with scent of grapefruit oil affects autonomic nerves, lipolysis and appetite in rats.
Neurosci Lett. 2005 Jun 3;380(3):289-94. Epub 2005 Feb 5. PMID: 15862904
In a previous study, we found that olfactory stimulation with scent of grapefruit oil (SGFO) excites the sympathetic nerve innervating the white adipose tissue in rats. Here we further examined the effects of SGFO in rats and observed that olfactory stimulation with SGFO excited the sympathetic nerves innervating the brown adipose tissue and adrenal gland and inhibited the parasympathetic gastric nerve. Local anesthesia of the nasal mucosa with xylocaine or anosmic treatment using ZnSO4 eliminated the autonomic changes caused by SGFO. Moreover, stimulation with SGFO elevated the plasma glycerol level, and treatment with either ZnSO4 or an intraperitoneal injection of diphenhydramine, a histamine H1 receptor-antagonist, abolished the glycerol elevation by SGFO. Furthermore, a 15-min exposure to SGFO three times a week reduced food intake and body weight. Finally, limonene, a component of grapefruit oil, induced responses similar to those caused by SGFO, and diphenhydramine eliminated the glycerol response to limonene. Thus, the scent of grapefruit oil, and particularly its primary component limonene, affects autonomic nerves, enhances lipolysis through a histaminergic response, and reduces appetite and body weight.