Previous studies have shown that humans and mice that are obese have fewer taste buds, but a new study may shed light on the link between obesity and taste perception.
Researchers from Binghamton University have been investigating the brains of obese rats. They focused on the nucleus tractus solitarius, which is the part of the brain associated with perceiving taste. Here they were able to observe that the response to taste stimuli were blunted and conveyed less information in obese rats compared to lean rats. These distorted taste perceptions may lead to overeating, as the relationship between food intake and taste sensation is weakened.
At this stage it is unknown if the same processes occur in humans. The team is now keen to investigate the effects of gastric bypass surgery on the brains’ response to taste, and if deficits in the taste system can be recovered following the surgery.
Source: News Medical
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