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October 23, 2019 Wednesday 09:33:11 AM IST

Obesity tied to response to taste

Teacher Insights

Obesity is connected with a reduced response to taste, according to a new study by faculty at Binghamton University, New York.

A team of researchers observed the effects of obesity on responses to taste stimuli in the nucleus tractus solitarius, a part of the brain involved with taste processing. The researchers recorded the responses to taste stimuli from single cells in the brainstem of rats that were made obese by eating a high-fat diet. They found that taste responses in these obese rats were smaller in magnitude, shorter in duration and took longer to develop, compared with those in lean rats. 
The number of taste buds on the tongue are diminished in obese mice and humans; so, the likelihood that taste response in the human brain is also blunted is good.The team is looking into the effects of gastric bypass surgery to see if it can recover the deficits in the taste system.


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