Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sweet Taste Preference and Heritability

An article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled “Sweet taste preferences are partly genetically determined: identification of a trait locus on chromosome 16” reported studies by Kaisu Keskitalo and colleagues in Finland. Their objective was to study a proportion of inherited sweet taste preference and they performed a genome-wide linkage analysis to locate the underlying genetic elements in the genome. These words appear at the end of the article: “In conclusion, individual differences in sweet taste preferences appear to be partly heritable. A locus on chromosome 16 was found to affect the use frequency of sweet foods. This result can be considered to be very significant, because a sweet taste preference has not been previously shown to be heritable in humans. This observation broadens our understanding of human food choice.” From my perspective, if an innate preference for sweet taste is partly heritable, other aspects of sensory preferences may be heritable, as well.

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