Good Things Can Happen When Tastes Change After Surgery

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-04_d9890840cd.jpgiStock/Thinkstock (LEICESTER, England) -- Is it possible that weight loss surgery not only affects one's appetite, but taste and smell too? That appears what Leicester Royal Infirmary researchers found after a study of 100 patients whose stomachs were made smaller while having their small intestines shortened. As expected, virtually all of the patients' appetites were affected by Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery.

However, 42 percent claimed their sense of smell also changed, and just over seven in ten reported a difference in the way beef, pork, roast meat, lamb, sausages, fish and fast food tasted. Of those reporting a change in taste, three-quarters said they suddenly didn't like certain foods, including meat, poultry and even bacon.  About 12 percent no longer enjoyed starches such as rice, bread and pasta.

These new aversions seemed to work to their advantage, since on average, those whose tastes were altered lost at least 18 pounds more than other weight loss surgery patients who didn't experience a similar change.

Although no cause-and-effect was established, lead author Lisa Graham says gut hormone and central nervous system effects may account for taste and smell changes.

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