Background: The sense of taste is involved in food behavior and may drive food choices, likely contributing to obesity. Differences in taste preferences have been reported in normal-weight as compared to obese subjects. Changes in taste perception with an increased sweet-induced sensitivity have been reported in surgically treated obese patients, but data regarding the perception of basic tastes yielded conflicting results. We aimed to evaluate basic taste identification, induced perception, and pleasantness in normal-weight controls and obese subjects before and after bariatric surgery. Methods: Severe obese and matched normal weight subjects underwent a standardized spit test to evaluate sweet, bitter, salty, umami, and sour taste identification, induced perception, and pleasant-ness. A subset of obese subjects were also studied before and 12 months after sleeve gastrectomy. Results: No significant differences in basic taste-induced perceptions were observed, although a higher number of controls correctly identified umami than did obese subjects. Sleeve-gastrectomy-induced weight loss did not affect the overall ability to correctly identify basic tastes but was associated with a significant increase in taste intensities, with higher scores for sour and bitter, and a significantly reduced bitter-induced pleasantness. Conclusions: The perception of basic tastes is similar in normal-weight and severely obese subjects. Sleeve-gastrectomy-induced weight loss significantly increases basic taste-induced intensity, and selectively reduces bitter-related pleasantness without affecting the ability to identify the tastes. Our findings reveal that taste perception is influenced by body mass index changes, likely supporting the hypothesis that centrally mediated mechanisms modulate taste perception in severe obesity.

Sleeve Gastrectomy-Induced Body Mass Index Reduction Increases the Intensity of Taste Perception’s and Reduces Bitter-Induced Pleasantness in Severe Obesity

Rurgo S.
;
Cantone E.;Pesce M.;Efficie E.;Musella M.;Polese B.;De Conno B.;Pagliaro M.;Seguella L.;Guida B.;Esposito G.;Sarnelli G.
2022

Abstract

Background: The sense of taste is involved in food behavior and may drive food choices, likely contributing to obesity. Differences in taste preferences have been reported in normal-weight as compared to obese subjects. Changes in taste perception with an increased sweet-induced sensitivity have been reported in surgically treated obese patients, but data regarding the perception of basic tastes yielded conflicting results. We aimed to evaluate basic taste identification, induced perception, and pleasantness in normal-weight controls and obese subjects before and after bariatric surgery. Methods: Severe obese and matched normal weight subjects underwent a standardized spit test to evaluate sweet, bitter, salty, umami, and sour taste identification, induced perception, and pleasant-ness. A subset of obese subjects were also studied before and 12 months after sleeve gastrectomy. Results: No significant differences in basic taste-induced perceptions were observed, although a higher number of controls correctly identified umami than did obese subjects. Sleeve-gastrectomy-induced weight loss did not affect the overall ability to correctly identify basic tastes but was associated with a significant increase in taste intensities, with higher scores for sour and bitter, and a significantly reduced bitter-induced pleasantness. Conclusions: The perception of basic tastes is similar in normal-weight and severely obese subjects. Sleeve-gastrectomy-induced weight loss significantly increases basic taste-induced intensity, and selectively reduces bitter-related pleasantness without affecting the ability to identify the tastes. Our findings reveal that taste perception is influenced by body mass index changes, likely supporting the hypothesis that centrally mediated mechanisms modulate taste perception in severe obesity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/891117
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