December 14, 2018

Research Finds Sweet Tooth Plus Bitter Supertasters More Likely to Have Metabolic Syndrome

A study examining the effects of having both a sweet tooth and extreme sensitivity to bitter flavors (supertaster) has found that they correlate with increased incidence of metabolic syndrome. That syndrome includes extra weight around the middle and upper parts of the body, high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol levels, and insulin resistance. It puts people at higher risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, and coronary artery disease.

Food Poisoning TorsoThose with only a sweet tooth or sensitivity to bitter foods actually have a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Researchers found that those who are sweet liking (SL) and supertasters (ST) should try to increase fiber intake and reduce caloric beverage intake to combat the risk posed by this syndrome.  Scientists believe that these tasting profiles are influenced by genetics.

The study recruited 196 people and assessed their tasting profiles. That data was compared to the incidence of metabolic syndrome and dietary habits among the participants. The study’s authors, who include Barry Popkin, Gabrielle Turner-McGrievy, Deborah F. Tate, and Dominic Moore, said that “assessing genetic differences in taster preferences may be a useful strategy in development of more tailored approaches to dietary interventions to prevent and treat metabolic syndrome.”


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