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Sweetness Sensation Linked to Bitter Receptor, Varies in Children

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According to a report from News-Medical.net, research from the Monell Center indicates school-aged children have different sensitivities to sweet taste and this is, in part, genetically determined. The study was published online ahead of print in Nursing Research.

Researchers tested the sweet taste threshold of 216 healthy children between the ages of 7 and 14. Results varied, as the most sensitive child detected only 0.005 of a teaspoon of sugar dissolved in a cup of water, whereas the least sensitive needed three teaspoons for the same sensation.

Genotype analyses revealed that sucrose thresholds and sensitivity were related to variation in the bitter receptor gene but not in the two sweet receptor genes. According to News-Medical.net, these findings may inform efforts to reduce sugar consumption and improve the nutritional health of children.

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