Food preferences are the main factor driving food intake and choice and there are good reasons to suspect some genetic influence on food acceptance. Although taste has been widely studied in regards of pure tastes such as bitter or sweet perception, the relationship between taste related genes and food preferences has seldom been explored. In this work we investigated relationship of 37 taste-related genes with food preferences in communities coming from 5 different countries along the Silk Road. More than 400 subjects completed a food preference questionnaire comprised of common foods specific to each culture. Subjects rated their liking of each item on a 5-point scale ranging from “like extremely” to “dislike extremely”. Liking rating was used as a quantitative variable in the statistical analyses. DNA sample was also obtained and other information, such as age, sex, life style and anthropometrical measures, were collected. Statistically significant associations were detected between variants of candidate genes and liking ratings for specific foods. Interestingly, liking of vodka (p=1.6x10-3) and white wine (p=4.0x10-4) was associated with the sweet receptor T1R2, supporting the idea that sweet taste contributes to variation in liking for alcohol. Liking of tea was associated with the PCLB2 gene (p=8.0x10-4) which is expressed in type II taste buds cells and in olfactory epithelium, and is involved in the response to caffeine. Preferences for both lamb meat (p=5.8x10-4) and sheep cheese (p=8.9x10-4) were associated with ITPR3 gene, expressed in the taste and olfactory systems. Finally, liking for beet was associated with TRPV1 (p=3.8x10-5) which has been implicated in oral irritation from isothiocynates. These findings give a new insight on a better understanding of genetic factors influencing food preferences which is critical to the development of effective dietary interventions, especially for people that may be genetically not predisposed for liking specific nutrients.

Genetics of Taste and Food Preferences in Communities Along the Silk Road

ROBINO, ANTONIETTA;PIRASTU, Nicola;GASPARINI, PAOLO
2012

Abstract

Food preferences are the main factor driving food intake and choice and there are good reasons to suspect some genetic influence on food acceptance. Although taste has been widely studied in regards of pure tastes such as bitter or sweet perception, the relationship between taste related genes and food preferences has seldom been explored. In this work we investigated relationship of 37 taste-related genes with food preferences in communities coming from 5 different countries along the Silk Road. More than 400 subjects completed a food preference questionnaire comprised of common foods specific to each culture. Subjects rated their liking of each item on a 5-point scale ranging from “like extremely” to “dislike extremely”. Liking rating was used as a quantitative variable in the statistical analyses. DNA sample was also obtained and other information, such as age, sex, life style and anthropometrical measures, were collected. Statistically significant associations were detected between variants of candidate genes and liking ratings for specific foods. Interestingly, liking of vodka (p=1.6x10-3) and white wine (p=4.0x10-4) was associated with the sweet receptor T1R2, supporting the idea that sweet taste contributes to variation in liking for alcohol. Liking of tea was associated with the PCLB2 gene (p=8.0x10-4) which is expressed in type II taste buds cells and in olfactory epithelium, and is involved in the response to caffeine. Preferences for both lamb meat (p=5.8x10-4) and sheep cheese (p=8.9x10-4) were associated with ITPR3 gene, expressed in the taste and olfactory systems. Finally, liking for beet was associated with TRPV1 (p=3.8x10-5) which has been implicated in oral irritation from isothiocynates. These findings give a new insight on a better understanding of genetic factors influencing food preferences which is critical to the development of effective dietary interventions, especially for people that may be genetically not predisposed for liking specific nutrients.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2712283
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact