Updated 06 August 2015

If you can't smell these 5 things ...

... then you may be dying. 

An interesting study suggests that our sense of smell, or lack thereof, could be giving us clues about potentially catastrophic health issues. 

The study used five aromas: peppermint, orange, fish, rose and leather and found that an inability to distinguish these scents was a strong indicator of death within 5 years.

The researchers say that, because smell requires a frequent turnover of stem cells, diminishing capabilities here are a result of the body’s overall inability to regenerate itself. It s also associated with premature shortening of the telomeres which leads to accelerated ageing.

This has a clear link to neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer, which is a result of the improper growth of new cells.

So get yourself to the sweet shop, the grocer, the fish monger, the nursery and the tanner and put your sense of smell to the test! 


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Contraceptives and you »

Scientists create new contraceptive from seaweed Poor long-term birth control training leads to 'accidents'

7 birth control myths you should stop believing

Will the Pill make you gain weight? Can you fall pregnant while breastfeeding? We bust seven common myths about birth control.

Your digestive health »

Causes of digestive disorders 9 habits that could hurt your digestive system

Your tummy rumblings might help diagnose bowel disorder

With the assistance of an 'acoustic belt', doctors can now determine the cause of your tummy troubles.