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Some people are "genetically linked" to avoid certain vegetables



  A teenager reluctant to eat veggie Copyright
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Do you hate eating certain vegetables? This may be down to your genes, say American scientists who have done some new research.

The inheritance of two copies of the bad taste gene provides a "bitterness level for your day" for foods such as broccoli and sprouts, they say.

This could explain why some people find it difficult to include enough vegetables in their diet, they suggest.

The gene can also make the taste of beer, coffee and dark chocolate unpleasant.

In evolutionary terms, sensitivity to bitter taste may be helpful ̵

1; protecting people from eating things that can be poisonous.

But Dr. Jennifer Smith and his colleagues at the University of Kentucky say that it may also mean that some people struggle to eat the recommended five days a day of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Each inherits two copies of a taste gene called TAS2R38. It encodes a protein in the taste buds of the tongue that allows us to taste the bitterness.

People who inherit two copies of a variant of the TAS2R38 gene called AVI are not sensitive to the bitter tastes of certain chemicals. Those with one copy of AVI and another called PAV perceive the bitter tastes of these chemicals, but not to the extent that people with two copies of PAV, often called "super tasters," find the same foods extremely bitter. [19659005] Scientists examined 175 people and found that those with two copies of the bitter-flavored PAV version of the gene ate only small amounts of leafy green vegetables that were good for the heart.

Dr. Smith told medics at a meeting of the American Heart Association: "You need to think about how you taste if you really want your patient to follow the eating guidelines."

The researchers hope to study whether they use spices can help the mask have a bitter taste and make vegetables more attractive to people who are cheerful not to like certain varieties.


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