Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sweet Tooth? Now it's Salt Tooth?

Everyone knows about the sweet tooth, but do you have a salt tooth?
Studies have found a gene, TAS2R48, that codes for a taste for salt, but no need to be salty about it (sorry for the pun, saw an opportunity and I took it), it's just that you would prefer saltier foods than any other, which is useful information for the American Heart Association.

We all know that the AHA recommends a limited amount of sodium in our diet, but people that express a preference for salt, are going to have a much more difficult time cutting down on the salt.  These people, because of TAS2R48 are at much higher risk of high blood pressure. Those in the study that had the gene were found to exceed the daily limit of sodium recommended by the AHA, 2,300mg. In previous study, researches suggested that the people that had the variation of gene for salt preference also enhanced their bitter tastes. "There is some research suggesting that individuals who taste bitter more intensely may also taste salt more intensely and enjoy it more, leading to increased sodium intake," Jennifer Smith, a Phd nursing student at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, said in a statement.

So if you have the salt gene, TAS2R48, be mindful of sprinkling more salt on your vegetables and cut down on the ramen!

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