Is your favorite food genetic? Study identifies 325 genes that influence taste

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Finally Forty years, obesity is on the rise. This is happening despite the popularity of diets of all kinds, from low-carb, paleo to even ice cream-based. I think it’s because it’s full of takeout. This food is high in calories and full of unhealthy ingredients like saturated fat, simple sugars and salt. However, it is devised so that it can be eaten deliciously. Taste is an important issue when deciding what to eat and what kind of diet plan to follow. However, our understanding of what makes food delicious is limited.

Influence of genes on taste

Heredity affects the taste of food.ClassicStock/Archive Photos/Getty Images

My team’s research explored how genes and biological processes influence which foods are irresistible. were asked how much they liked 139 foods and rated them on a questionnaire from 1 to 9, with 9 being the most delicious. The UK Biobank is a collection of approximately 500,000 UK volunteers who have agreed to provide their personal information for scientific purposes. They were between 50 and 70 years old when we investigated.

We sent out an email survey and received nearly 189,000 responses. The first step in our study was to analyze the associations between the foods that people said they liked. We have mapped the relationships between different foods.?

Does deliciousness exist?

Over time, we learn to love certain foods and flavors, such as coffee.Sepia Times/Universal Image Group/Getty Images

Foods are highly palatable foods such as meat, junk food, and desserts. Low-calorie foods, mainly fruits and salad vegetables, as well as oatmeal and honey. Acquired taste foods are strong-tasting foods that children generally dislike, such as coffee, alcohol, and spices, but learn to enjoy them.

The map revealed some surprises. Foods were categorized by how likable they were rather than by type of taste (such as sweet versus savory). For example, preference for fruit juice correlated more with preference for dessert than fruit. That’s why fruit juices fell into the highly palatable category instead of being low calorie.Foods that people think of as vegetables don’t come together. Mild-tasting items such as tomatoes and zucchini belonged to the low-calorie group, while strong-tasting items such as green peppers and onions belonged to the acquired-taste group. , Despite its sweet flavor, it was clustered near meat and fried foods.

We then looked at what differences in people’s DNA might be related to the types of foods they prefer. We identified 325 genes that are involved in determining whether the three categories of foods are genetically correlated with each other. We found no correlation between the two categories of food. This suggests that there are two biological processes. One adjusts the weaknesses of the super-fun food, and the other adjusts the rest.

what’s next

Twin studies show that food preferences are 50% genetic and 50% personal experience. Home environment affects children’s food preferences, but not adults’ food preferences. The shift occurs around puberty. It is not yet clear how preferences for different foods mature in children, as no one has conducted large-scale longitudinal studies. thinking about.

Our study also used MRI brain scans to look more closely at which regions of the brain correlated with the three food groups. The other two groups were associated with brain regions involved in perception, discrimination, and decision-making. .

These findings shed new light on our understanding of people’s food choices. Understanding why you don’t like certain foods can help you improve the way you cook and prepare them. For example, many people don’t like coriander because it “tastes like soap.” This is genetically determined, and some people become hypersensitive to coriander compounds. This is a simple example, but it shows how a little prep can make food more acceptable.

Health professionals and schools can use information about taste and people’s DNA to identify people at high risk of making unhealthy dietary choices and support early targeted programs. Pharmacological solutions can alter the preferences of different types of people by activating different parts of the brain and hormones. They tend to prefer sweeter foods at lower levels. In the future, drugs may be developed that change your favorite foods.

This article was originally published on conversation Along Nicola Pilastu and University of Edinburgh. Read the original article here.

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