A phenomenon that often surprises parents is that their young children become so busy right after they have eaten. They are gorging themselves on the couch, but the children bounce across the room. At children’s parties it is carefully examined whether Jantje or Marietje (Storm or Vlinder) is allowed to eat sweets, because they would become hyperactive from all that sugar. Or the dyes.
Because how is it possible that a child direct do you have so much energy after eating? That food must first be processed in the digestive tract, right? After which it can only release the fuel for the cells into the blood in the intestines? It takes a while, you might say, before that energy becomes available.
The answer to that question has been given by research into taste. The five distinct tastes – sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami – all correspond to certain types and qualities of food. Fat should be added as the sixth flavor, according to some experts. An evolutionarily preserved system tells us from the first bite whether the food we put in our mouth contains useful substances or poison. Sweet means energy-rich carbohydrates, with a lot of glucose. Umami means free amino acids, for protein synthesis. Salt means electrolytes, including for fluid regulation. Acid means spoilage, but also pH. Bitter means plant poison, but a little antioxidants is healthy.
The taste of sweet is our favorite, that will be known. Are we not essentially fructivores like our prehistoric cousins the apes? Think Elstar apple: sweet with a little sour. Just like Coke.
The taste recognition ensured that we could survive. The system works so well that the body already responds to the taste experience in the mouth with the start of digestion. On the signal that sweet food is going to enter the digestive tract, the pancreas reacts by secreting a little insulin to absorb the glucose surge: the CPIR, cephalic phase insulin response“CPIR is a small, transient rise in plasma insulin that occurs before exogenous glucose appears in the blood.”
The children’s body already receives information from the oral cavity about the energy-rich food that is coming. Then they can start bouncing
From cephalische fase of digestion also includes seeing, smelling and talking about food. Pavlov has shown it with his dogs, but in a different way than is generally remembered, with that bell and the dogs’ drooling. The children’s body already receives information from the oral cavity about the energy-rich food that is coming. Then they can start bouncing.
Twenty years ago this year, it was discovered exactly how the detection of flavors in the mouth works. Especially sweet, because that has become problematic due to the enormous sugar consumption. For a long time there was a misconception that recognizing the four, later five or six tastes is localized in different places on the tongue – front, back, on the side. That is only slightly true. The taste buds on the tongue, which look like mushrooms up close, contain multiple receptors that are sensitive to combinations of flavors.
Receptors of the T1R family are found throughout the body, in the gut, brain and even bones. They are active in metabolic regulation. The T1R2 and T1R3 receptors detect sweet (and umami) in the mouth. They react not only to real sugar, with glucose and (the sweeter) fructose, but also to artificial sweeteners. This has led to an interesting question, to which no satisfactory answer has yet been given: can high-calorie sugar be easily replaced by calorie-free sweeteners? Does the body allow itself to be fooled so easily: does it taste the taste, but not the energy?
If it were, everyone would be drinking Diet Coke and Max. More and more consumers are consciously avoiding sugary drinks, but not en masse. Confusingly, research does not rule out that eliminating the calories in soda has no effect on obesity. In fact, there is research that states that sweeteners actually promote more calorie intake.
The mouth is much smarter than we realized and it will be hard to trick it by simply offering non-caloric sweeteners
Diet Coke isn’t quite as tasty, but also not as satisfying as real ones, users say. Why that is so, until recently there was only a suspect by. It was shown in mice that the caloric load of sugar also contributes to the appetite for sweet drinks. So, in addition to signaling the sweet taste, another signal must be delivered from the receptors in the oral cavity further into the metabolism.
That signal has been traced and described at the molecular level by a study group at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. They did several tests with mice, of which certain receptors had been genetically disabled. From the conclusion of their research, published in PlosOne“Together, these results support the idea that oral sensing of glucose activates two signaling pathways: one consisting of the T1R2/T1R3 sweet taste receptor and the other utilizing an SGLT glucose transporter.”
Those SGLT glucose transporters are known mechanisms. SGLT1 is active in the uptake of glucose from the small intestine into the blood. In addition to the T1R1/3 sweet taste receptor, according to the researchers, the sweet experience and glucose metabolism are apparently also regulated via an SGLT pathway present in the oral cavity.
Study leader Paul Breslin, professor of nutrition at Rutgers University in New Jersey, says: ScienceDaily: “It is remarkable that a mechanism has evolved to not only taste sugar in the mouth as sweet, but also to sense that they are sending off a metabolic or caloric signal. (…) This means that the mouth is much smarter than we realized and it will be difficult to trick it into simply offering non-caloric sweeteners.”
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Your mouth knows the difference between real and fake sweet – Finally we understand why Diet Coke is not satisfying – Foodlog