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Receptor On The Tongue Makes People More Sensitive To The Taste Of Fat

January 12, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
U.S. researchers report that variations in the gene CD36 make people’s taste buds more or less sensitive to the taste of fat. The study is the first to identify a receptor on the human tongue that can taste fat, and suggests that some people may be more sensitive to the presence of fat in foods. The researchers suggest that as people consume more fat they become less sensitive to it, requiring more intake for the same satisfaction. A better understanding of how CD36, a protein that facilitates the uptake of fatty acids, works in people could provide a clue to the development of more effective ways to fight against obesity.
M. Y. Pepino et al., "The fatty acid translocase gene, CD36, and lingual lipase influence oral sensitivity to fat in obese subjects", The Journal of Lipid Research, January 12, 2012, © American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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