Obesity can change our sense of taste

Previous studies have shown that obesity can lead to alterations in the brain, but in new research, scientists have found that being severely overweight alters our sense of taste at the most fundamental level: by changing how our tongues react to different flavors. The intriguing new findings, based on experiments with mice, appear in the journalPLOS ONE.

The new study, conducted by biologists at the University at Buffalo, 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 researchers looked at the calcium signaling process that occurs in taste cells. Lead researcher Kathryn Medler explained that when cells “recognize” a certain taste, there is a temporary increase in the calcium levels inside the cells which can be measured.

Medler found that compared with their slimmer counterparts, the plump mice had fewer taste cells that responded to sweet stimuli. Additionally, the cells that did respond to sweetness reacted weakly.

“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 Medler. “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.”

How an inability to detect sweetness might encourage weight gain is unclear, but past research has shown that obese people may not taste sweet and savory flavors as well as thinner people. Medler speculates that it’s possible that trouble detecting sweetness may lead obese mice to eat more than their leaner counterparts to get the same “payoff.”

“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 concluded. “These cells are out on your tongue and are more accessible than cells in other parts of your body, like your brain.”

Related:
Discuss this article in our forum
Parasitic worms could treat obesity disorders
Tackling obesity by manipulating gut flora
Brain Has Sixth Sense For Calories
Car designs may change to protect obese

Source: University at Buffalo

,

Comments are closed.

1900s 1903 Ad To Fat People Book Obesity Its Cause & Cure Henry C Bradford MD NY picture

1900s 1903 Ad To Fat People Book Obesity Its Cause & Cure Henry C Bradford MD NY

$17.00



Bumper Sticker Decal - I'm Fat, Let's Party - Obesity, Overweight, BBW picture

Bumper Sticker Decal - I'm Fat, Let's Party - Obesity, Overweight, BBW

$6.99



1900's Ad To Fat People Obesity Its Cause & Cure Henry C Bradford MD 23rd St NY picture

1900's Ad To Fat People Obesity Its Cause & Cure Henry C Bradford MD 23rd St NY

$17.00



1917 Photo: Photograph | women | obesity | body type | New York | NY | Paul Stra picture

1917 Photo: Photograph | women | obesity | body type | New York | NY | Paul Stra

$14.99



Sulphume tonic ad 1898 origl vintage 1800s illustrated art Obesity Cure medicine picture

Sulphume tonic ad 1898 origl vintage 1800s illustrated art Obesity Cure medicine

$8.00



Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Medal, Patron of Obesity and Dieting #2 picture

Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Medal, Patron of Obesity and Dieting #2

$4.99



Holy Prayer Card St Charles Borromeo Obesity & Dieting Medal Laminated picture

Holy Prayer Card St Charles Borromeo Obesity & Dieting Medal Laminated

$7.99



Novo Nordisk Collectable Pin Pharmaceutical Swag Souvernir Obesity Pharma RARE picture

Novo Nordisk Collectable Pin Pharmaceutical Swag Souvernir Obesity Pharma RARE

$12.99



Bamforth marriage comic~wife & obese fat husband I NEVER TALK THINGS OVER IN BED picture

Bamforth marriage comic~wife & obese fat husband I NEVER TALK THINGS OVER IN BED

$8.86



1917 Photo: Photograph | men | obesity | body type | New York | NY | Paul Strand picture

1917 Photo: Photograph | men | obesity | body type | New York | NY | Paul Strand

$14.99



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes