Why you should be snacking on (or smelling) more peanut butter

Love the smell of peanut butter? It looks like it’s better for something more than brightening your mood and making your tummy rumble.

A study published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences used peanut butter as part of an olfactory test for Alzheimer’s disease and the findings were quite surprising!

The idea behind the study is finding a new course of early diagnosis for Alzheimer’s with the aim of reducing disability, enhancing quality of life, and aiding in clinical trials. They already knew that your brain’s olfactory cortex is one of the first places the disease strikes and that “patients with AD may demonstrate an asymmetrical (left greater than right) decrement of odor detection sensitivity.” For the layman: the ability to smell out of your right nostril decreasing is an early indicator you may have the disease.

So, they used peanut butter as a test. Placing an open jar of the yummy peanut treat under the nose of subjects who met a specific set of criteria to be tested for Alzheimer’s, they tested each nostril to see if they could detect the smell (with their eyes closed). They then measured how far away the jar had to be before the subject smelled it.

Amazingly, they determined this simple test “appears to be a sensitive and specific test for probable AD.” Not to mention not invasive and inexpensive! Score one for science!

It’s been a successful week in discovering the correlation between food and our mental health. Earlier this week, we learned drinking Champagne in moderation could “help ward off the possibility of contracting dementia later in life.” More bubbly and peanut butter in our lives? We are fully OK with that.

(Image via Shutterstock)