Recent Scientific News Releases
A Monell study reveals that while foods such as vanilla pudding taste sweeter following three months on a low-sugar diet, the level of sweetness most preferred in foods and beverages does not change. The findings may inform public health efforts to reduce the amount of added sugars that people consume in their diets.
New research from Monell and the University of Pennsylvania suggests that physicians may someday be able to use a simple taste test to predict which surgical intervention is best suited to help a subset of chronic rhinosinusitis patients. Specifically, non-polyp patients more sensitive to the bitter taste of PTC demonstrated greater improvement following surgery. The current findings draw upon the team’s earlier research showing that a receptor that detects bitter taste in the mouth also is found in the upper airways, where it functions to defend against bacterial infection.
According to new research from the Monell Center, cats have at least seven functional bitter taste receptors. Further, a comparison of cat to related species with differing dietary habits reveals that there does not appear to be a strong relationship between the number of bitter receptors and the extent to which a species consumed plants in its diet. The findings question the common hypothesis that bitter taste developed primarily to protect animals from ingesting poisonous plant compounds.
A new study from Monell and the QIMR Berghofer Research Institute suggests that a single set of genes accounts for approximately 30 percent of person-to-person variance in sweet taste perception, regardless of whether the sweetener is a natural sugar or a non-caloric sugar substitute.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF), an immune system regulatory protein that promotes inflammation, also helps regulate sensitivity to bitter taste. The finding may provide a mechanism to explain the taste system abnormalities and decreased food intake that can be associated with infections, autoimmune disorders, and chronic inflammatory diseases.
Leslie J. Stein, Ph.D.
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