Obesity can make a person's taste buds blunt, research suggests (stock)

Obesity can make your taste buds blunt: scientists discover that a part of the brain that processes flavors is less active in rats with severe overweight

  • Scientists analyzed the brain responses of severely overweight rats
  • Found the nucleus tractus solitarius, involved in flavor processing, less & # 39; illuminated & # 39;
  • Obesity is associated with reduced & # 39; taste receptor cell expression & # 39;

Being obese can make a person's taste buds blunt, research suggests.

Scientists at Binghamton University in New York analyzed the brain responses of severely overweight rats after being exposed to different tastes.

They discovered that the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), which was involved in flavor processing, has less & # 39; lit & # 39; was with the obese animals than with their leaner counterparts.

Although the study was conducted in rats, the researchers say that the likelihood of the same results occurring in people with obesity & # 39; good & # 39; is.


Obesity can make a person's taste buds blunt, research suggests (stock)

Obesity can make a person's taste buds blunt, research suggests (stock)

Previous studies have associated obesity with impaired & # 39; taste receptor cell expression & # 39; and reduced activation of important receptor cells.

However, research has also suggested that people who are overweight have more enjoyment from food, which may fuel the obesity crisis.

About 39.8 percent (93.3 million) of US adults were obese between 2015 and 2016, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

And in the UK, 29 percent of adults in 2017 were classified as obese, according to data from NHS Digital.

Previous research has linked belly fat to a reduced sense of smell and taste. The extent of this, and why it occurs, was poorly understood.


"It is surprising that we know so little about how taste is affected by obesity, as food taste is a big factor in determining what we choose to eat," said lead author Professor Patricia Di Lorenzo.

To find out more, the researchers gave rats a diet of 45 percent fat and 17 percent sugar for eight weeks.

Once obese, the animals were implanted with a bundle of micro-electrodes in the NTS & # 39 ;.

The rodents were allowed to flavor & # 39; flavorings & # 39; licking – taste-provoking chemical molecules, while the researchers analyzed their NTS cells.

Results – published in the journal Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience – revealed that the cell responses were smaller, shorter and required longer to develop than in the lean & # 39; control & # 39; rats.


& # 39; The taste cells in the diet-induced obese rats provided less information about taste quality than cells in lean rats & # 39 ;, the researchers wrote.

However, the obese animals had & # 39; more taste sensitive cells & # 39 ;. The researchers believe that & # 39; NTS cells can be recruited to compensate for weakened taste reactions & # 39 ;.

They emphasize that their research has only been carried out on rodents, but the same findings may also apply to humans.

& # 39; Others have discovered that the number of taste buds on the tongue is reduced in obese mice and humans, so the likelihood that the taste response in the human brain is also weakened is good, & # 39; said Professor Di Lorenzo.

The team is investigating whether gastric bypass surgery could previously help obese patients to restore their sense of taste.


This study contradicts research from the University of Iowa that obese people enjoy the taste of chocolate for longer than their leaner counterparts.

Principal investigator Professor Linnea Polgreen said: “Obesity is a major public health problem.

& # 39; Taste perceptions can lead to overeating. If obese people have different taste perceptions than non-obese people, this can lead to a better understanding of obesity and possibly develop new approaches to prevent obesity. & # 39;


Obesity is defined as an adult with a BMI of 30 or higher.

The BMI of a healthy person – calculated by dividing the weight in kg by the height in meters and the answer again by the length – is between 18.5 and 24.9.


Among children, obesity is defined as being in the 95th percentile.

Percentiles compare young people with others of the same age.

For example, if a three-month-old is in the 40th percentile for weight, it means that 40 percent of the three-month-old children weigh the same or less than that baby.

About 58 percent of women and 68 percent of men in the UK are overweight or obese.

The condition costs the NHS around £ 6.1 billion each year, from its estimated £ 124.7 billion budget.

This is due to obesity, which increases the risk of a number of life-threatening conditions.

Such conditions include type 2 diabetes, which can cause kidney disease, blindness and even limb amputations.

Research suggests that at least one in six hospital beds in the UK is taken by a diabetes patient.

Obesity also increases the risk of heart disease, killing 315,000 people in the UK each year – making it the leading cause of death.

Carrying dangerous amounts of weight is also linked to 12 different types of cancer.


This includes breast, which affects one in eight women at some point in its life.

Among children, research suggests that 70 percent of obese young people have high blood pressure or increased cholesterol, putting them at risk for heart disease.

Obese children are also considerably more likely to become obese adults.

And if children are overweight, their obesity is often more severe in adulthood.

No fewer than one in five children go to school in the UK with overweight or obesity, which increases to one in three by the time they turn 10.


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