Coming soon: A cure for a sweet tooth?
An international team has discovered two "detectors" in the tongue that help the body spot sweet food, which could lead to dieting drugs to wean people off biscuits and cakes, the `Daily Mail` reported.
The scientists, led by the Monell Chemical Senses Centre in Philadelphia, have found that the tongue`s sweet- detecting taste buds have three distinct "sugar receptors" instead of one, as was previously assumed.
The receptors are also found in the gut and pancreas, where they help monitor levels of glucose in the blood and release insulin.
In the tongue, one of these receptors- called KATP- may help to adjust sensitivity to sweet tastes according to what the body requires, say the scientists.
It could, for instance, be lowered just after eating a sticky cake or bowl of ice cream, or heightened if the metabolism needs more sugar.
Team leader Dr Karen Yee was quoted as saying, "This knowledge may some day help us understand how to limit over-consumption of sweet foods."
The work, conducted on mouse cells, has been published reported in the `Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences` journal.