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Meeting to highlight health impacts of smell and taste
Date:7/15/2008

ccurately measure normal ranges of taste sensitivity by gender and age, scientists need a standardized, validated taste test. Researchers currently use various tests, each with specific limitations, in which participants rate the intensity of a taste in a liquid, flavored candy or on filter paper. NIDCD-funded researchers Gregory Smutzer, Ph.D., of Temple University in Philadelphia, and Lloyd Hastings, Ph.D., of Osmic Enterprises Inc. in Cincinnati, are leading the development of edible taste strips that could improve accuracy and ease the administration of taste tests. Smutzer and his team have created taste strips, similar to breath-freshening strips, each containing a precise amount of a chemical taste stimulus. The researchers can prepare these strips to measure salt, sweet, sour, bitter and savory (also known as umami) taste sensitivity. (Friday, July 25, Poster Session IV, 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., Pacific Concourse, Posters #349, 351 and 352)

How Sweet It Is

From the donut counter to our ever-expanding waistlines, scientists are seeking clues about what could be driving the obesity epidemic in America. While much of the research effort is focused on how the body uses and stores energy, NIDCD-supported research is uncovering valuable clues through studies on the sense of taste. Studies on sweet taste receptors are providing new evidence for biological factors that raise or lower sensitivity to sweet tastes and might stoke desire for cookies, cake, ice cream and other sweet treats. In this symposium, Steven Munger, Ph.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, will present recent findings on a hormone known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) that appears to modulate sensitivity to sweet tastes. Scientists already knew that GLP-1 produced in the gut stimulates insulin production. Munger and his collaborators from NIH's National Institute on Aging demonstrated that GLP-1 is also made in taste buds and appears to act on taste cells to m
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Contact: Linda Joy
ljoy@mail.nih.gov
301-496-7243
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Source:Eurekalert

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