Genetic Bitter Sensitivities Explain Why Some People Don’t Like Vegetables

New research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia, PA on November 16 -18, 2019 provided an explanation as to why some people “shun” vegetables. They have a gene that makes the heart-healthy whole foods that aid Phentermine 37.5mg-fueled weight loss taste bitter. And while some vegetables are naturally bitter, these gene compounds the bitter flavor. Take a moment to learn about the study and what scientists suggest to help such individuals eat their veggies.

Taste & Food Choices

Genetics play a substantial role in how food tastes to different people, which subsequently affects their food choices.

“You have to consider how things taste if you really want your patient to follow nutrition guidelines,” said Jennifer L. Smith, Ph.D., R.N., a postdoctoral fellow in cardiovascular science at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine in Lexington, and one of the study’s authors.

The Taste Gene

Humans receive two copies of a specific taste gene named TAS2R38. And while those who inherit two copies of the gene variant, “AVI” aren’t sensitive to most bitter tastes, others with one copy of AVI and another variant called PAV taste bitter flavors in certain foods. People with two copies of PAV also find such foods extremely bitter.

“We’re talking a ruin-your-day level of bitter when they tasted the test compound. These people are likely to find broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage unpleasantly bitter; and they may also react negatively to dark chocolate, coffee and sometimes beer,” Smith said.

The Spice Factor

Smith and other scientists want to discover how to make these vegetables more attractive to those with bitter sensitivities.

“We thought they might take in more sugar and salt as flavor enhancers to offset the bitter taste of other foods, but that wasn’t the case. Down the road we hope we can use genetic information to figure out which vegetables people may be better able to accept and to find out which spices appeal to supertasters so we can make it easier for them to eat more vegetables,” she said.
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