Navigation Links
Does obesity reshape our sense of taste?
Date:11/21/2013

BUFFALO, N.Y. Obesity may alter the way we taste at the most fundamental level: by changing how our tongues react to different foods.

In a Nov. 13 study in the journal PLOS ONE, University at Buffalo biologists report that being severely overweight impaired the ability of mice to detect sweets.

Compared with slimmer counterparts, the plump mice had fewer taste cells that responded to sweet stimuli. What's more, the cells that did respond to sweetness reacted relatively weakly.

The findings peel back a new layer of the mystery of how obesity alters our relationship to food.

"Studies have shown that obesity can lead to alterations in the brain, as well as the nerves that control the peripheral taste system, but no one had ever looked at the cells on the tongue that make contact with food," said lead scientist Kathryn Medler, PhD, UB associate professor of biological sciences.

"What we see is that even at this level at the first step in the taste pathway the taste receptor cells themselves are affected by obesity," Medler said. "The obese mice have fewer taste cells that respond to sweet stimuli, and they don't respond as well."

The research matters because taste plays an important role in regulating appetite: what we eat, and how much we consume.

How an inability to detect sweetness might encourage weight gain is unclear, but past research has shown that obese people yearn for sweet and savory foods though they may not taste these flavors as well as thinner people.

Medler said it's possible that trouble detecting sweetness may lead obese mice to eat more than their leaner counterparts to get the same payoff.

Learning more about the connection between taste, appetite and obesity is important, she said, because it could lead to new methods for encouraging healthy eating.

"If we understand how these taste cells are affected and how we can get these cells back to normal, it could lead to new treatments," Medler said. "These cells are out on your tongue and are more accessible than cells in other parts of your body, like your brain."

The new PLOS ONE study compared 25 normal mice to 25 of their littermates who were fed a high-fat diet and became obese.

To measure the animals' response to different tastes, the research team looked at a process called calcium signaling. When cells "recognize" a certain taste, there is a temporary increase in the calcium levels inside the cells, and the scientists measured this change.

The results: Taste cells from the obese mice responded more weakly not only to sweetness but, surprisingly, to bitterness as well. Taste cells from both groups of animals reacted similarly to umami, a flavor associated with savory and meaty foods.


'/>"/>

Contact: Charlotte Hsu
chsu22@buffalo.edu
716-645-4655
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Obesity and nutrition are keys to avoiding metabolic syndrome
2. Internet helps ensure mother knows best when it comes to preventing childhood obesity
3. Obesity: A new appetite-increasing mechanism discovered
4. IRICoR and Université de Montréal license a novel program for early-onset morbid obesity to Pfizer
5. Cleveland Clinics 2013 Obesity Summit explores causes, prevention and treatment of obesity
6. Fat and obesity gene also affects hip fracture
7. Education protects women from the obesity associated with urban living
8. Rich or poor in gut bacteria brings new vision for obesity treatment
9. Vigorous physical activity linked to lower incidence of obesity in young African-American women
10. Obesity and mortality association differs between individuals with and without diabetes
11. New IOM report lays out plan to determine effectiveness of obesity prevention efforts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Does obesity reshape our sense of taste?
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and ... global partnership that will provide end customers with ... banking and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... area for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... Research and Markets has announced ... 2016-2020,"  report to their offering.  , ... global gait biometrics market is expected to grow ... 2016-2020. Gait analysis generates multiple variables ... to compute factors that are not or cannot ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") ... shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean Technology ... based venture capital funds which together hold approximately 59% ... diluted, as converted basis), that they have entered into ... holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ("TUS") ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Parallel 6 , the ... today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter CONSULT module which enables both ... physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT module, patients and physicians can ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech ... funding of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The ... cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will ... levels correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients ... will then be employed to support the design ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences unveiled ... cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting homologous ... (CTCs). The new test has already been incorporated ... multiple cancer types. Over 230 clinical ... response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: