Obesity affects taste perception. A new study has found that obesity is associated with a reduced response to taste. Studies have shown a link between taste response and obesity, but the neural changes related to this remain poorly understood.
Researchers from Binghamton University, State of the University of New York conducted new research to study the effects of obesity on taste responses in the nucleus tractus solitaries, a brain region.
The team fed the mice with a high-fat diet. Then they analyzed the single cells in the brainstem of rats and measured the responses to taste stimuli from it. The researchers found that taste responses in these obese rats were smaller.
The study states that a high-fat diet produces extensive responses to taste in the brain. The diet linked to weakened taste responses with ingestive behavior.
However, the scientists behind this study said that currently these findings are only limited to rats. Human research with this same process is required.
The study results are published in Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience in a paper called, “Taste Responses in the Nucleus of the Solitary Tract of Awake Obese Rats are Blunted Compared with those in Lean Rats,”
“Others have found that the number of taste buds on the tongue are diminished in obese mice and humans, so the likelihood that taste response in the human brain is also blunted is good,” said Binghamton University Professor of Psychology Patricia Di Lorenzo.