The love of carbohydrates in humans is almost universal. However, the craving for various forms of carbohydrates is already culturally entrenched and instilled from an early age.
In addition, there are genes that affect a person’s preference for certain types of food. A key gene involved in controlling food intake is the melanocortin 4 receptor, or MC4R. It is part of a circuit in the brain that determines how much fat is in our body. This is important because it determines how long we can live without food.
It turned out that in people with MC4R mutations, the brain was less sensitive to the amount of fat in their body. So the brain believes they have less fat than they actually do, so they eat more.
Additionally, MC4R specifically affects what we eat. In one experiment, lean and obese people (with and without MC4R mutations) were given three types of chicken meat. They did not differ from each other in appearance, taste, smell, but they also contained different amounts of fat: they made up 20%, 40% and 60% of all calories.
It turned out that those with mutations in the MC4R ate almost twice as much high-fat meat as lean people and 65% more than obese people without MC4R.
In the second experiment, people ate a sweet dessert with 8%, 26%, and 54% fat. It turned out that people with the MC4R mutation ate these sweets less than others. That is, while people with the MC4R defect preferred more fatty foods, they were less likely to choose sugary foods.
What about disgust in various foods? For example, only about 50% are known to have a TAS2R38 gene variant that allows them to detect pain. This, in turn, affects the taste sensations obtained from the use of different products.
Also, different people perceive coriander differently. And if this herb has a soapy taste to you, it’s due to a particular gene. Some have a genetic variant in the OR6A2 olfactory receptor gene that causes a person to become sensitive to the aldehydes in coriander leaves, giving them a soapy taste.
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