Biomedical Engineering Blog

Biomedical Engineering

The Biomedical Engineering blog is the place for conversation and discussion about topics related to engineering principles of the medical field. Here, you'll find everything from discussions about emerging medical technologies to advances in medical research. The blog's owner, Chelsey H, is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) with a degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Previous in Blog: Revolutionizing the Prosthetic Hand to Teach It New Tasks   Next in Blog: Revolutionary Regeneration
Close
Close
Close
4 comments

Did You Inherit Your Sweet Tooth?

Posted April 19, 2016 12:00 AM by Chelsey H

"No thanks, I'm not a dessert person."

I don't know about you, but not much else inspires me to hate someone as much as that statement does. Who doesn't like dessert?! Why are some people able to resist the bowl of Hershey Kisses on the conference table but they eat an entire bag of Sour Patch Kids in one sitting?

Scientist have discovered that some humans have genes that make them more sensitive to bitter compounds, suggesting that there might be differences in how the other four tastes - sweet, sour, salt, and umami - are genetically wired. Image credit

The study of perception of sweetness was done comparing identical and fraternal twins with non-twin siblings and unpaired twins. Twins are helpful for studying genetic factors since identical twins share almost all their genes and fraternal twins share about half.

The researchers at Monell Chemical Senses Center gave the twins and other subjects two natural sugars (glucose and fructose) and two artificial sweeteners (aspartame and NHDC) and then asked them to rate the perceived intensity of the solution.

The study found that a single set of genes account for about 30 percent of the variance in sweet taste perception between people for both natural and artificial sugars.

Much to my dismay (who doesn't want to blame genes for bad habits), the findings do not mean that people who have a weaker ability to taste sweet necessarily dislike sugar or vice versa. The researchers still need to see whether the results have implications on people's food behavior. This is a challenge to study because researchers rarely get an accurate picture of what a person eats every day.

Danielle Reed, the lead researcher for this study, says the variation in taste may have to do with the fact that humans evolved in so many different geographies and around so many different types of food.

These days, I would love to be more sensitive to sugar since it's found in everything and has become a serious health risk. But as I sit and enjoy a hot cocoa, I think I'll just wait for my genes to change. J

The full study appears in the journal Twin Research and Human Genetics.

Reply

Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: at the beach in Florida
Posts: 31000
Good Answers: 1725
#1

Re: Did You Inherit Your Sweet Tooth?

04/19/2016 12:24 AM

I am a confirmed chocoholic, but I went on the Atkins diet a few years back and lost my craving for sweets of any kind.... That lasted as long as I was on the diet....Now I'm back to normal thank god, did you say something about Hershey kisses??

__________________
Break a sweat everyday doing something you enjoy
Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 176
Good Answers: 4
#4
In reply to #1

Re: Did You Inherit Your Sweet Tooth?

04/20/2016 9:48 AM

I will never forget my first bodybuilding show-prep diet. About 6 weeks in, the desire for foods off the very narrow diet went... not away, but became nauseating. We were preparing for a wedding at the same time. My fiancee sat down next to me on the couch.

"Let's talk wedding."
"Great! Let's talk wedding."
"What do you think about the wedding cake? I was thinking maybe part chocolate, part yellow, with maybe tiers of the different flavors? And then..." I'm listening, and turning steadily green, and I'm wanting to yarp. Finally, I had to tell her, "Look. I'm happy to talk about the wedding, but we have to talk about something other than the cake. I'm getting sick."
"Okay." *beat* "What do you think about a groom's cake?"

I love her to this day. My favorite person in the world. But still... *sigh*

Reply
Guru

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: About 4000 miles from the center of the earth (+/-100 mi)
Posts: 9050
Good Answers: 1031
#2

Re: Did You Inherit Your Sweet Tooth?

04/19/2016 8:00 PM

An interesting fact: Cats are unable to taste sweetness. Sorry Del.

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/7/1932S.full

Reply
Guru
United States - Member - Born, raised halfway 'round .....

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Speedway.....
Posts: 1130
Good Answers: 24
#3

Re: Did You Inherit Your Sweet Tooth?

04/20/2016 8:27 AM

Aside from genetics, Environment and amount of exposures have always affected the outcome of such studies!

.

__________________
vsar
Reply
Reply to Blog Entry 4 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

GameJudge (1); Rixter (1); SolarEagle (1); vsar (1)

Previous in Blog: Revolutionizing the Prosthetic Hand to Teach It New Tasks   Next in Blog: Revolutionary Regeneration

Advertisement