Do Humans Have a Sweet Tooth?

Swamp wallabies were found to be able to recognize certain types of sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose) but not others (galactose, lactose).

No liking is so quick to form, and nothing so hard to lose, as a child’s love of sweets.

Give a newborn a drop of sugary water when he is older, and he will nurse.

Steiner gave 175 babies sucrose before they got a drop of breast milk and saw clear signs of satisfaction: The babies showed “significant sign.

The joy of sugar does not need to be met; it doesn’t need a brain.

Yet we still don’t know much about the science of sweet taste.

neuroscientists have discovered a sweet human receptor: a complex set of proteins that shake the cell membrane and hang out like little chicks.

When the sucrose molecule passes through, the protein dissolves,

the external domains – called Venus Flytrap Domains – close immediately and send a signal from the mouth to the lower parts of the brain: There is something delicious here, keep eating!

But in some animals, the love of sugar is not so strong.

Last May, a team of entomologists showed that the sweet-tasting food used by killers turned cockroaches off of sugar.

it evolved in such a way that sugar stimulates the receptors that once only felt bitter taste.

Among mammals, preferences for sweets tend to be species-specific.

Cats and some deer, for example, have long since lost their sugar habit: Venus flytrap receptors serve little purpose in these carnivores and have been damaged in random evolution.

on the other hand, they eat a lot of Catholics, so they still have a taste.

Some mammals are no longer able to sense sweet or savory: In 2012, a team led by Peihua Jiang of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia found that this is the case among marine mammals such as Asian.

“It makes sense,” said Paul Breslin, another physiatrist based at Monell and Rutgers University.

So they don’t need to taste. “

But what about the things that mimic sugar, like the zero-calorie sweeteners that most of us rely on?

Human flytrap suppresses sugar, but also traps Sweet’N Low and Splenda and many other chemicals –

both artificial and natural – that’s almost taste.

Do other animals have the same response?

If a dog likes the taste of Coca-Cola, will it show the same response to Diet Coke?

It turns out that mice and rats, at least, react to saccharin, the active ingredient in Sweet’N Low, but are not moved by aspartame, the main sweetener in diet sodas.

Dieter Glaser tried this same experiment on a set of wetlands from southwestern Australia.

Small marsupials could recognize certain types of sugar (glucose, fructose, sucrose) and not others (galactose, lactose);

but when it came to sugar substitutes, they didn’t respond at all.

but when it came to sugar substitutes, they didn’t respond at all.

Glaser tried saccharin and aspartame, as well as sucralose, stevia, acesulfame-k, neotame, licorice and several other additives.

Glaser did similar experiments on fish, hedgehogs, elephants, horses, cows, sheep, pigs, rats and birds, trying to find out when our sweet-taste receptor might start its habit of catching so many.

different chemicals.

In one study, he mapped sugar substitution reactions in different primate species.

Humans, monkeys and Old World monkeys can taste aspartame, he found, as well as other synthetic products.

called neotame.

Even modern people show some variation in accepting the taste of artificial sweeteners.

Monell’s Breslin notes that among Homo sapiens, the taste for candy is universal, with only slight variations in intensity.

That’s not true of sugar supplements, however.

(It’s safe to say that you and I both like the taste of sugar, but we may have different opinions about diet soda.)

the pressure to maintain sensitivity to sugar has been maintained throughout evolutionary history,” Breslin said.

“The ability to recognize glucose and fructose and sucrose is mandatory because that’s what it is

You have to see those.

But nothing controls whether you will be able to taste aspartame or saccharin or cyclamate or acesulfame-k or sucralose.