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Approved research

Genetic determinants of taste preferences and risk of metabolic disease

Principal Investigator: Dr Marilyn Cornelis
Approved Research ID: 14829
Approval date: October 20th 2015

Lay summary

Bitter, sweet, and salty taste preferences are important determinants of dietary intake. In addition, stimulation of taste buds initiates post-ingestive responses, and taste receptors in the digestive system may further mediate these effects, suggesting a direct metabolic role of the gustatory system. Specific taste preferences might therefore impact risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, but evidence supporting this notion is limited. We aim to identify genetic factors contributing to individual differences in taste preferences and how they associate with risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Bitter, sweet, and salty taste preferences are important determinants of dietary intake and might therefore impact risk of diet-related diseases. Results of our proposed research will foster new lines of investigation for reducing risk of these conditions and for developing novel behavioral and pharmacological avenues of treatment and prevention. In efforts to identify genetic markers of taste preferences we are proposing health-related research that is in public interest and thus we believe our study meets the UK Biobank?s purpose. We are currently developing bitter, sweet and salty taste preference scores that can be derived from existing food preference or consumption data. We will use diet and genetic data available from large population studies to conduct GWAS of taste preferences. We will replicate the most promising loci in the CHARGE consortium and then examine their impact on obesity and T2D risk using i) available results from GIANT (obesity) and DIAGRAM (T2D) and ii) the UK biobank. Full cohort