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

aintain or enhance sweet taste sensitivity. This discovery suggests that interventions aimed at the taste buds might be able to dull sweet cravings. (Thursday, July 24, Symposium, 8:00 to 10:15 a.m., Grand Ballroom A)

From Bitter to Sweet, It's in Our Genes

Scientists hypothesize that bitter taste receptors evolved to prevent early humans from ingesting bitter-tasting toxins commonly found in plants. Yet, in scientific taste tests, up to 30 percent of people barely recognize some bitter tastes while others seem to have a heightened sensitivity to them. Bitterness can enhance food flavorcoffee, bok choy, dark chocolate and beer are perennial favorites for this reason. Scientists are seeking to better understand our response to bitterness and its influence on diet and nutrition. In this symposium, NIDCD researcher Dennis Drayna, Ph.D., will discuss genetic studies that are helping to explain why people respond differently to bitter as well as sweet-tasting compounds. His group previously identified a gene that explains differences in bitter taste perception, and has now expanded his genetic studies to understand the range of sweet taste perception. He and his team have pinpointed genetic differences that affect sweet sensitivity in different populations. Understanding such differences could help public health officials to more effectively foster healthy eating in global populations. (Wednesday, July 23, Symposium, 8:00 to 10:15 a.m., Grand Ballroom C)

When Chronic Sinusitis Impairs Smell

A glance down the sinus remedy aisle of your local drug store only hints at the impact of chronic sinusitis in the United States. More than 30 million Americans have chronic sinusitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to its vexing upper respiratory symptoms, chronic sinusitis often also diminishes the sense of smell (and, thus, flavor perception). In spite of the health consequences of this widesp
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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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