Obesity tied to response to taste
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.