Being obese may change our ability to taste sweet foods, according to new research from the University of Buffalo.
Researchers examined the differences in taste perception in 25 obese mice and compared it to the tasting ability of 25 thinner mice. Using a process called calcium signaling, which is a way to track which taste is being picked up by cells, they found obese mice had fewer cells which responded to sweet tastes and these cells were less responsive to sweet and bitter tastes compared to thinner mice. Researchers believe obese people may overeat sweet foods in order to get the same satisfaction as thinner people.
“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,” study lead Kathryn Medler, Ph.D., was quoted as saying. “These cells are out on your tongue and are more accessible than cells in other parts of your body, like your brain.”