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Nutr Rev. 2015 Feb;73(2):83-91. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuu009.

Taste perception, associated hormonal modulation, and nutrient intake.

Author information

1
H.B. Loper is with the Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. M. La Sala and C. Dotson are with the Division of Addiction Medicine, Center for Smell and Taste, Department of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA. N Steinle is with the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
2
H.B. Loper is with the Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. M. La Sala and C. Dotson are with the Division of Addiction Medicine, Center for Smell and Taste, Department of Neuroscience and Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA. N Steinle is with the Baltimore Veterans Administration Medical Center and University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA nsteinle@medicine.umaryland.edu.

Abstract

It is well known that taste perception influences food intake. After ingestion, gustatory receptors relay sensory signals to the brain, which segregates, evaluates, and distinguishes the stimuli, leading to the experience known as "flavor." It is well accepted that five taste qualities – sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami – can be perceived by animals. In this review, the anatomy and physiology of human taste buds, the hormonal modulation of taste function, the importance of genetic chemosensory variation, and the influence of gustatory functioning on macronutrient selection and eating behavior are discussed. Individual genotypic variation results in specific phenotypes of food preference and nutrient intake. Understanding the role of taste in food selection and ingestive behavior is important for expanding our understanding of the factors involved in body weight maintenance and the risk of chronic diseases including obesity, atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, liver disease, and hypertension.

KEYWORDS:

chemosensation; gustatory system; taste perception

PMID:
26024495
PMCID:
PMC4555787
DOI:
10.1093/nutrit/nuu009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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