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The Body’s Sense of Taste

February 20, 2017

Taste receptors are actually located all over the body, not just in the mouth.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Tasting with the entire body. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

The sense of taste is important for more than just enjoying a meal. Rutgers University nutritional scientist Paul Breslin explains that taste receptors have been discovered in the intestine, pancreas, liver, lungs, fat cells and even the brain.  

PAUL BRESLIN (Rutgers University):

So we have them all over the body, and we believe that they are playing a metabolic and regulatory role wherever they are, including in the mouth.

HIRSHON:

At a recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Breslin explained that in the mouth, taste helps us decide whether or not to eat something and tells organs further down what’s coming. Taste receptors in other parts of the body control appetite, help regulate insulin production, and may be involved in mood as well. Breslin’s work focuses on the evolution of taste and its genetic underpinnings. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon