A new research shows that gaining weight can make your taste buds dull. To conduct this study, researchers used mice. The rodents were put on a special diet to make them gain weight as quickly as possible. After that, their taste buds were tested and compared to the ones of skinnier mice. This research tested an interesting theory that stated obese people have duller taste buds.
New Developments on the Link between Obesity and Dull Taste Buds
Several studies had had this conclusion before, but none of them managed to determine a cause and effect. This new study wanted to know the reason behind this change. Is it the excess body fat or the heavy foods that dulled the sensitivity? After the comparison was made, researchers observed that the taste buds of the mice on the fatty diet were withering.
The leader of the research, Dr. Dando, mentioned:
The obese ones have about 25 percent fewer taste buds
In order to see if the food was the problem, the researchers also had an obesity-resistant genetically engineered group of mice. They had the same fatty diet and the researchers observed that the food was not the cause of the problem. Then, the researchers tested a new theory which proposed that the inflammation is the one that causes the change in the taste buds.
This is when they tested a group of mice that couldn’t produce TNF alpha, the molecule that creates inflammation. Usually, this molecule (along with others that affect inflammation) is found in higher levels in obese mice and humans. Researchers observed that these mice were also obese but their taste sensitivity remained intact.
Researchers concluded that the inflammation caused by obesity was the one that affects the taste buds. Although scientists were able to prove a cause-and-effect relationship, the study was only conclusive for mice. This result might not be the same when put through a human test.