Health News · Nutrition · Uncategorized

Humans have a “fat bud”!?

I was sitting in a spinny chair, listening to a presentation given by a Nutrition/Fitness/Health Department at a college I have been considering. But,
some how, I drifted off thinking about my future goals and aspiring career…typical. While I thoroughly enjoy learning about majors and what they can offer me to benefit my future, the beginning was just an overview of what I already knew from their website.
However, it was about twenty minutes into the slide show when I heard the presenter say, “We fat receptors in our mouths.” REALLY? Fat receptors! My first thought was, “That’s crazy, how is it possible to identify a such thing. I knew the taste buds on our tongue could detect salty, sweet, and sour tastes…but not fatty.” Yet, the more I thought about it, the more it logical it seemed. I know my nose can sense greasy food by its smell, but this concept seemed different, I guess it may be linked to the cases of people who say they prefer Coke over Diet Coke. I can’t discern the difference; I choose Diet Coke because I think it tastes good without all the sugar Coke has. Anyway, I digress.
The department didn’t go into depth about the fat receptor concept; so, being intrigued with new information about health, I decided to find out more about this new study.

In my findings I have learned quite a bit about the “fat receptor” -CD36, and an individual’s sensitivity to fat. So here’s what I found out about this “fat receptor”- or as I like to call it-“the fat bud”:

Our tongues have the ability to recognize fat, as well as have an affinity for fat. Studies show that people with a particular amount of the gene, CD36, are more sensitive to the presence of fat than others. As people consume more fat, they become less sensitive to it, requiring more intake for the same amount of satisfaction: “Our ability to detect fat in foods influence our fat intake, which clearly would have an impact on obesity” (Receptor for Fat Tasting Identified in Humans, Dryden). With this concept known, it is understandable that people who frequently go to fast food restaurants are more apt to order more than a person who rarely goes to them because they need more food (fat) to be satisfied with their meal…linking to the cause of obesity. To support this statement studies show that people who make more CD36 protein are able to better detect fat better than those who make less of the protein. About 20% of people are thought to obtain the amount of CD36 gene that is linked with making less CD36 protein. (Dryden). A diet can affect an individuals sensitivity to fat because it influences the amount of CD36 produced. (Pepino, Dryden) Dr. Pepino believes that obese individuals make less of this protein and the amounts of CD36 produced can be altered through a diet and genetics.

In sum: There is a gene CD36 that is produced by the body that can detect fat. The less CD36 an individual has, the less sensitive an individual is to fat…20% of people have a variant of CD36 that is liked with making less CD36 protein. Not being able to detect fat causes and individual to eat more to be satisfied..leading to obesity. In addition, diet has the ability to alter the amount of CD36 we have.

Hopefully you found this interesting, knowledgeable, or noteworthy, if not…then it’s alright, thanks for reading & enjoy your day 🙂



24 thoughts on “Humans have a “fat bud”!?

  1. So you (and probably most of your readers) will find this totally gross….
    When I was a kid I remember clearing the table and sneak-eating the fat my siblings cut off their pork chops just because it tasted so darned good 😎 . To this day I have no affinity for sweets – I would much rather indulge in fatty foods. Thankfully I am only about 15 lbs overweight (mostly because of alcohol), so am happy my pork chop fat eating days as a youth didn’t have a terrible effect on me.

  2. That’s fascinating! As a person who used to eat a ton of high fat foods I have definitely noticed an increased sensitivity to them since I changed my diet particularly since I became a vegetarian. Years ago I could have eaten big greasy hamburgers, whole pizzas, and huge amounts of sugary sweets without feeling much of an impact. It seems like now if I so much as look at a cupcake I get a stomach ache and the smell of frying meat makes me nausea.

    1. that concept has to be quite common: I’ve stopped eating many greasy & fried foods or try to keep it to a minimum because it hurts my stomach and makes me feel awful. I can always tell the difference in the smell of fresh food vs fried and greasy these days!! thanks for reading, i hope you’re having a great day!

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