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Obesity may alter our taste

Obesity is a growing epidemic that causes many serious health related complications. While the causes of obesity are complex, there is conclusive evidence that overconsumption coupled with a sedentary lifestyle is the primary cause of this medical condition. Dietary consumption is controlled by appetite which is in turn regulated by multiple neuronal systems, including the taste system. However, the relationship between taste and obesity has not been well defined. 
Growing evidence suggests that taste perception in the brain is altered in obese animals and humans, however no studies have determined if there are altered taste responses in the peripheral taste receptor cells, which is the initiation site for the detection and perception of taste stimuli.
Researchers fro University of Buffalo (Usa) published on PloS One journal a study, where they used C57Bl/6 mice which readily become obese when placed on a high fat diet. After ten weeks on the high fat diet, they used calcium imaging to measure how taste-evoked calcium signals were affected in the obese mice. Researchers found that significantly fewer taste receptor cells were responsive to some appetitive taste stimuli while the numbers of taste cells that were sensitive to aversive taste stimuli did not change. Properties of the taste-evoked calcium signals were also significantly altered in the obese mice. Behavioral analyses found that mice on the high fat diet had reduced ability to detect some taste stimuli compared to their littermate controls.
They findings demonstrate that diet-induced obesity significantly influences peripheral taste receptor cell signals which likely leads to changes in the central taste system and may cause altered taste perception.

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