12 Nov Study shows how the brain tastes
A new study, conducted at Columbia University and published in the journal Nature, found that the brain's role in taste is more complex than originally believed.
The tongue and brain work together
Researchers specially engineered mice so that their taste neurons would glow when stimulated. They also looked at neurons present at the base of their cerebrum. The animals were given a variety of chemicals designed to trigger certain tastes – sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami, a Japanese term that refers to savory foods. Scientists concluded that all 8,000 taste buds on the tongue are able to sense every variety of taste, but certain cells are designed to intensely pick up on specific tastes. When they encounter one of these flavors, they send a message to corresponding brain cells that cause you to experience the sensation.
Doctors hope to use this information to help the elderly population, who often lose much of their ability to taste and therefore don't enjoy eating. The production of new tongue cells responsible for this sense weakens as you age, but researchers point to this breakthrough as the first step in restoring some taste intensity.
Eating goes beyond flavor
Though your brain and tongue receptors might be stirring with activity when you dig into a plate of fried chicken, it's important to remember that eating is about more than just consuming your favorite flavors. A healthy diet is crucial for keeping your whole body strong and healthy. An important part of a nutritious diet is getting plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. These compounds, which are essential for humans, must be consumed through an outside source since our bodies don't make them. There are a variety of nutritious – and delicious – ways to incorporate omega-3s into your diet.
These health-boosting compounds are found in tasty foods like fish, whole grains, olive oil, berries, walnuts and leafy greens. They can also be consumed through a supplement like Omax3. This premium capsule contains 91 percent omega-3 fatty acids and is ideal for maximum human performance.
- When the tongue detects a flavor that's either salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami it sends a message to corresponding brain cells, causing you to experience a taste sensation.
- Researchers hope to use this newly discovered fact to help older people experiencing unpleasant loss of taste.
- Remember to not eat just to satisfy your flavor cravings – consuming a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is crucial to maintaining your overall well being.