Friday, November 27, 2020

Tongue & Taste

Can you tell me what part of my tongue “tastes” sweet versus sour? My granddaughter asked me that the other day and I couldn’t answer the question. I told her I’d ask you.

No, I cannot answer her question, per se. You may tell her, however, that apparently the tongue appears not to be divided into specific and discrete taste sections as was once believed. Put a bit of sugar or salt on different sections of your tongue and your taste buds can pick up their chemicals anywhere. What can impact your taste? Colds, flu, allergies, or anything that makes your nose stuffy, which reduces the flow of chemicals to your olfactory receptors. Smoking can reduce the number of taste buds you have on your tongue, which can reduce taste intensity. So can the aging process. As you grow older your taste buds may not get replaced properly. An older person may only have 5,000 working taste buds instead of 8,000-10,000, which can impact the intensity of flavors. 

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