Everyone suffers from a bitter taste in your mouth. Research has shown that an increased intake of salt can help against this. But of course a lot of salt can also cause health problems. Interesting matter, in which our taste gene plays an important role.
Research into bitter taste in your mouth
In America aaresearch has been done on salt intake . The group studied has at least two risk factors for heart disease. That group took part in a study into reducing cardiovascular risks. The researchers looked at the eating habits of the group of participants, in combination with a particular gene that influences people’s taste.
Just as there are genes for all processes in your body, there is also a gene that regulates how people experience taste. There are certain genotypes for this gene. The difference between people in this ensures that you experience taste differently than your neighbor. For example, a certain combination within the taste gene ensures that you experience a bitter taste more intense or less intense than average.
Taste and salt
The researchers are convinced that an increased salt intake is the opposite for experiencing a bitter taste (more intense). So when someone experiences the bitter taste strongly, more salt will be used as a counterpart for the bitter taste. There are also a number of other factors that can affect the taste of food such as smoking, weight, age, and taking blood pressure medications. So the difference in taste related to genetics is not the only reason for eating higher amounts of salt.
What can we do with that knowledge?
The knowledge about the genotype and thus the predisposition to taste can help dieticians to put together the best possible diet for, for example, heart patients. The dieticians can predict whether a patient will consume more salt due to the predisposition and can respond to this by making a diet that minimizes the intake of salt. Consuming more salt than prescribed by the wheel of five is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure, which can then lead to a heart attack or stroke.