Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smokers' bitter taste buds may be on the fritz

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Bitterness can generally be tasted at very low concentrations, but not so for those who light up. Smokers and those who have quit cannot fully appreciate the full flavor of a cup of coffee, because many cannot taste the bitterness of their regular caffeine kick. It is already known that smoking, and especially the toxic chemicals in tobacco, causes a loss of taste among smokers. It also causes structural changes to the fungiform papillae of the tongue where the taste buds are located. However, it is not yet known whether the full taste range returns to normal once a person quits smoking, or how long it takes.

Smokers and those who have quit cannot fully appreciate the full flavor of a cup of coffee, because many cannot taste the bitterness of their regular caffeine kick. This is the finding of a study led by Nelly Jacob of the Pitiι-Salpκtriθre Hospital APHP in France, published in Springer’s journal Chemosensory Perception.

It is already known that smoking, and especially the toxic chemicals in tobacco, causes a loss of taste among smokers. It also causes structural changes to the fungiform papillae of the tongue where the taste buds are located. However, it is not yet known whether the full taste range returns to normal once a person quits smoking, or how long it takes.

To extend knowledge on the matter, Jacob and her colleagues therefore tested the ability of 451 staff from Parisian hospitals to recognize the four basic tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty, as well as the intensity of each taste. The participants were grouped into smokers, non-smokers and people who had quit smoking. The voluntary tests were conducted over the course of three consecutive “World No-Tobacco Days.”

It was found that smoking status had no influence on a person’s ability to recognize salty, sweet or sour tastes. It did however have an effect on people’s ability to taste the bitter taste of caffeine. The bitter receptors in the tongue are generally able to detect this taste in very low concentrations. However, one in every five smokers (19.8 percent) could not correctly recognize the taste, while the same happened one in every four times (26.5 percent) that former smokers were put to the test. Only 13.4 percent of non-smokers could not correctly identify the bitter samples they were asked to taste.

The researchers believe that the accumulation in the body of some tobacco or combustion products may hamper the regeneration of taste buds, and therefore still impair a person’s ability to recognize certain tastes even after they have stopped smoking.

“We consider that the perception of bitter taste should be examined more closely, both as a tool for smoking cessation or for preventing smoking initiation. More generally, it should be worthwhile to consider the role of chemosensory perceptions in smoking behavior.” says Jacob.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nelly Jacob, Jean-Louis Golmard, Ivan Berlin. Differential Perception of Caffeine Bitter Taste Depending on Smoking Status. Chemosensory Perception, 2014; DOI: 10.1007/s12078-014-9164-5

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Smokers' bitter taste buds may be on the fritz." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094810.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2014, March 25). Smokers' bitter taste buds may be on the fritz. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094810.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Smokers' bitter taste buds may be on the fritz." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325094810.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) — A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins