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How does my sense of smell change as I age?

Your sense of smell may lessen as you age for a few reasons. Firstly, sensory cells located in the nose and mouth may not have the ability to regenerate as well as they did in youth. Also, chronic disease is more common in the elderly, and cancers and liver diseases have been specifically linked to a decreased sense of smell. Alzheimer's and other diseases of the brain such as stroke can also affect one's ability to perceive smells. 
Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
As you age, you're more likely to lose smell than taste. The smell process—in which odors combine with one thousand different receptors in your nostrils—can be damaged by certain diseases, drugs, or even environmental exposures. And the reasons we worry are the same as for taste: Without your smell and taste barometers, you're more likely to overeat the foods that make your RealAge older and undereat the foods that make you younger.
You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

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You: Staying Young: The Owner's Manual for Extending Your Warranty

International bestselling authors of YOU: The Owner's Manual and YOU: On a Diet give you all the tools and know-how to stay young and defy the ageing process. Drawing lively parallels between your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.