Taste Cells in the Stomach and Intestine

Posted on March 21, 2010  Comments (2)

Stomach’s Sweet Tooth

Taste, scientists are discovering, is a whole-body sensation. There are taste cells in the stomach, intestine and, evidence suggests, the pancreas, colon and esophagus. These sensory cells are part of an ancient battalion tasked with guiding food choices

Newly discovered taste cells in the gut appear to send a “prepare for fuel” message to the body, a finding that may explain a link between diet soda and diabetes risk.

The gut’s taste cells appear to be built from the same machinery as the taste cells of the tongue, the structures of which scientists have only recently nailed down. Taste cells interact with what are called “tastants” via receptors, specialized proteins that protrude from cell walls and bind to specific molecules drifting by. When a tastant binds to a receptor, it signals other molecules that, in the mouth, immediately send an “accept” or “reject” message to the brain.

Gut taste cells appear to regulate, in part, secretion of insulin, a hormone crucial for telling body tissues whether they should tap newly arrived glucose or valuable stored fat for energy.

Related: Waste from Gut Bacteria Helps Host Control WeightSurprising New Diabetes DataReducing Risk of Diabetes Through ExerciseDrinking Soda and Obesity

2 Responses to “Taste Cells in the Stomach and Intestine”

  1. Soumyabrata Paul
    March 22nd, 2010 @ 4:16 am

    Thanks for sharing this nice information. But there are few questions in my mind. If there are taste cells in our stomach, intestine etc…, then why we do not get taste of what we have already taken ?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Devin
    March 22nd, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    That’s really interesting to learn about these “taste cells”. I wonder if they play a part in what foods we like or dislike. Although I’ve heard a lot more evidence that the reason why we don’t like certain foods is because of our parents. Interesting to know that the stomach has a way to let the body know that energy is coming.

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