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LeBrok
13-06-14, 03:55
We already know about lactose persistence and consumption of diary products. Here comes a new research from Italy linking our preferences to various foods to genes in our DNA. Most of our taste in foods might not be acquired at all, but rather we are born already liking them. Forget about dietitians telling you a standard mantra that fits all. Pretty soon geneticists will tell you exactly what is best for your. What your body can digest, what will make you sick, and what is healthy for you. But for now use your taste preferences to figure it out yourself.
Just remember one thing, use moderation.

Here is an article:

Our Tastes For Certain Foods May Be Written in Our Genes (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/06/05/our-tastes-for-certain-foods-may-be-written-in-our-genes/)

Are you a person who just can’t stand broccoli? Well, your revulsion of the sprout-topped vegetable may run deeper than just stubbornness — your food preferences could be written into your genetic code.
Italian researchers studying the genetic basis of food cravings have discovered 17 genes related to liking specific foods including dark chocolate, artichokes, bacon, coffee and of course broccoli. Additionally, in separate studies the team also discovered genes linked with salt perception and metabolizing certain types of food.
Together, the series of studies bolsters a branch of research called nutrigenetics (http://thinkitdrinkit.com/about/nutrigenomics-101/), which focuses on understanding the way our genes affect our choice of foods and our body’s ability to process these foods. Researchers believe the studies could contribute to personalized diets that make healthy foods tastier by catering to people’s preferences.
If the Genes Fit

The research team from the University of Trieste and the Burlo Garofolo Institute for Maternal and Child Health in Italy performed genome-wide association studies (http://www.genome.gov/20019523) (GWAS) to locate the specific genes responsible for certain food preferences. A GWAS identifies genetic variants within snippets of DNA, harvested from blood or cheek swabs, that are linked to certain traits in groups of individuals.
More than 2,300 Italian subjects, and 1,700 from other European countries and Central Asia, participated in the study, and they were asked how much they liked 42 different foods.

Seventeen genes showed significant associations with food preferences. The researchers found genes that reflected people’s affinity for:


Artichokes (three genes)
Bacon
Broccoli (two genes)
Coffee
Chicory
Dark Chocolate
Blue Cheese
Ice Cream
Liver
Oil or Butter on Bread
Orange Juice
Plain Yogurt
White Wine
Mushrooms

Interestingly, none of these 17 genes encoded a taste or smell receptor — the obvious candidates for influencing our appetites. Thus, researchers don’t yet know why variants of these genes would impact our favorite foods.
Customized Diets

In a second study, more than 900 healthy adults participated in a similar test to find the genetic link to enjoying the flavor of salt. Researchers discovered a specific gene encouraging people to consume more salt, which in turn could represent a risk factor for development of hypertension and salt intake.
Nicola Piratsu, the studies’ lead author, told New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25672-unravelling-taste-genes-could-help-us-eat-healthily.html#.U5CvXZRdWDp) that their work should lead to the design of meals, or cooking methods, that are customized for people’s genetic profiles. If people don’t like the taste of spinach, it could be prepared in a different way or ingredients could be added to mask the flavor.http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2014/06/05/our-tastes-for-certain-foods-may-be-written-in-our-genes/


Existence of genes for liking salt was no brainier, I must say. Just for this purpose we have dedicated sensors on our tongue. That's how important salt is to keep us alive. Sensors are genetic, liking salt is genetic, we are born to like it.

I always liked bacon, ice cream, butter, rye bread and mushrooms. Liking of coffee, and plain yogurt came later. I'm not fun of blue cheese or broccoli. I didn't like oranges when I was young, perhaps because we only got shipment once a year around Christmas from socialistic friends from Cuba. Oranges were small yellow and sour.

Engel
13-06-14, 09:28
So yummy the better. Go for it broccoli , blue cheese, yoghurt, swiss cheese, mushrooms, okra to name a few

Angela
13-06-14, 17:11
My first reaction was that this had to do with bitter perception genes, but apparently not...
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277652.php

The team was surprised to find that none of these genes were associated with those related to smell or taste receptors.
However, the researchers note that further studies are needed to determine what food characteristics these genes pick up on in order to develop a preference. For example, Dr. Pirastu notes that the HLA-DOA gene indicates a preference for white wine, "but we have no idea which of the characteristics of white wine this gene influences," he says.

"Our studies will be important for understanding the interaction between the environment, lifestyles, and the genome in determining health outcomes," he continues.

I also found this interesting bit...

"We devised a standard weight-loss diet subtracting 600 calories from individual nutritional needs, and analyzed DNA from the test group for 19 genes known to affect different metabolic areas and taste," Dr. Pirastu explains.
"We then modulated the diets according to individual genetic profiles. For example, people whose genetic profile showed that they had less efficient lipid metabolism were given fewer lipids in their diet, but we kept the overall amount of calories the same for everyone."
At the end of the 2-year study period, the researchers found that participants who followed the gene-based diet lost 33% more weight and had a higher percentage of lean body mass, compared with participants in the control group.

It's not clear to me whether these 19 genes known to affect taste as well as metabolism have some overlap with the genes affecting preferences for the listed foods. I would assume so, as some of those foods might not appeal to people who have problems digesting very fatty foods, for example. It would be clearer in the paper I would think, but annoyingly neither paper provides a link to the study, and a quick google scholar search failed to turn up the paper. If someone finds it, it would be great if you could post it here.

I still think there is an environmental factor here as well in that if you're exposed to certain foods, you may acquire a taste for them. Bitter perception must also factor in to some degree. I personally find coffee and dark chocolate very bitter, so I prefer milk chocolate and cappuccino, and I had to acquire a taste for plain yoghurt for health reasons because I initially found it too sour. (Of course now I can't eat dairy at all, so that was a waste!)

I don't understand the artichoke or broccoli thing, however, although I also find raw broccoli unpalatable, (not only because of the taste, but because I find raw vegetables as a whole difficult to digest) as is the undercooked, unseasoned, and undressed version of it that is served here in American for example. I used to "enforce" broccoli eating two or three times a week for health reasons.:grin: The trick is to cut off the woody, tough part of the stalks (and split the remainder), steam until easily pierced by a fork, dress or saute with the best quality olive oil you can afford and a clove or two of garlic, and, if you like a hint of citrus, squeeze some lemon on the finished product. You could also dot with some breadcrumbs, grated cheese and a few dots of butter and then broil for a minute or two. Even guests who tell me they "don't eat anything green" become converts.

As for artichokes, don't be so sure you hate them until you've eaten them like this...
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-yhJlnOiitIw/UtLICPCSByI/AAAAAAAAA-U/wCeFwUSOPns/s1600/IMG_4713.JPG

LeBrok
13-06-14, 20:00
So yummy the better. Go for it broccoli , blue cheese, yoghurt, swiss cheese, mushrooms, okra to name a few With moderation. :)
Sugars were always essentials for people to get energy from, to move around and to think (our brain loves and burns lots of sugar). Fats were essential to keep us warm in colder climatic zones. We are hard-wired (born loving their taste), to look for them and consume till we burst. It was ok in the past, because food was always in limited quantities and people were skinny. Today we changed the world and environment we live in. This is unfamiliar territory for our species, so we should be careful. We have almost unlimited supply of food and we can eat whatever and whenever all our lives (it never happened in human past). We can overeat daily and get really fat. As everything in life too much of good thing is also bad. Assuming that our goal is to stay as healthy as possible.
Moderation in intake of our favorite foods is the key to be healthy.

Greying Wanderer
14-06-14, 19:27
I also found this interesting bit...

"We devised a standard weight-loss diet subtracting 600 calories from individual nutritional needs, and analyzed DNA from the test group for 19 genes known to affect different metabolic areas and taste," Dr. Pirastu explains.
"We then modulated the diets according to individual genetic profiles. For example, people whose genetic profile showed that they had less efficient lipid metabolism were given fewer lipids in their diet, but we kept the overall amount of calories the same for everyone."
At the end of the 2-year study period, the researchers found that participants who followed the gene-based diet lost 33% more weight and had a higher percentage of lean body mass, compared with participants in the control group.



very. logically random mutations that led to people liking those locally available foods which they found easiest to fully digest would spread?

LeBrok
14-06-14, 23:08
My first reaction was that this had to do with bitter perception genes, but apparently not...
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277652.php

The team was surprised to find that none of these genes were associated with those related to smell or taste receptors.

A bit surprising for me. The explanation could be that we already had snses good enought to detect flavours and smells of these foods. I would bet though that these specific genes need to be related to brain architecture linking these smells with feeling of pleasure and want.
Good enough sense we already had, we just needed to link specific smells and tastes to the brain sector where emotion of feeling good is located.


"We devised a standard weight-loss diet subtracting 600 calories from individual nutritional needs, and analyzed DNA from the test group for 19 genes known to affect different metabolic areas and taste," Dr. Pirastu explains.
"We then modulated the diets according to individual genetic profiles. For example, people whose genetic profile showed that they had less efficient lipid metabolism were given fewer lipids in their diet, but we kept the overall amount of calories the same for everyone."
At the end of the 2-year study period, the researchers found that participants who followed the gene-based diet lost 33% more weight and had a higher percentage of lean body mass, compared with participants in the control group.
Here we go. Kick away junk food and "healthy" food fashion (tofu, gluten, atkins) and instead go with your senses, look for organic (full nutrient food), and use moderation. Nutritionists of the future will use sequenced DNA information to help lost souls find the right diet. And make sure your intestinal fauna is healthy too.


I still think there is an environmental factor here as well in that if you're exposed to certain foods, you may acquire a taste for them. Bitter perception must also factor in to some degree. I personally find coffee and dark chocolate very bitter, so I prefer milk chocolate and cappuccino, and I had to acquire a taste for plain yoghurt for health reasons because I initially found it too sour. (Of course now I can't eat dairy at all, so that was a waste!)
Some new foods like coffee or chocolate might just trick our bodies into liking or disliking it, although food is neutral or not needed for our health. It usually take thousands of years for people to develop new mutations for liking it, based on strong need for this food. Fast food industry works on this trickery all the time. Making cheap and not very nutritional food taste good for most people.


I don't understand the artichoke or broccoli thing, however, although I also find raw broccoli unpalatable, (not only because of the taste, but because I find raw vegetables as a whole difficult to digest) as is the undercooked, unseasoned, and undressed version of it that is served here in American for example. I used to "enforce" broccoli eating two or three times a week for health reasons.:grin: The trick is to cut off the woody, tough part of the stalks (and split the remainder), steam until easily pierced by a fork, dress or saute with the best quality olive oil you can afford and a clove or two of garlic, and, if you like a hint of citrus, squeeze some lemon on the finished product. You could also dot with some breadcrumbs, grated cheese and a few dots of butter and then broil for a minute or two. Even guests who tell me they "don't eat anything green" become converts.

As for artichokes, don't be so sure you hate them until you've eaten them like this... Since invention of fire pits million or so time ago people ate mostly cooked food. That's a long time to lose ability to digest some vegetable raw. Perhaps some vegetables were not eaten raw at all, and only entered human cuisine when fire was tamed. Regardless we can always digest more when food is cooked, both vegetables and meat. We should eat at least fruit raw to get some vitamins. Cooking destroys many vitamins.

Angela
15-06-14, 16:38
Some new foods like coffee or chocolate might just trick our bodies into liking or disliking it, although food is neutral or not needed for our health.

Yes, I found it interesting that the two foods I have to alter in order to enjoy them were indeed foods from the new world, the so-called "Columbian foods" or post Columbus foods.

Artichokes and broccoli, on the other hand, are foods that have been cultivated in the north Mediterranean since at least the time of the Greeks and Romans.

Interesting thing about artichokes in particular is that artichokes were considered to be aphrodisiacs. As a result, men were advised not to let their wives eat them.