Umami: What Is A Supertaster Taste?

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Most people believe taste is versatile, but there are only five tastes our tongue can discriminate, which are: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. Each of these tastes have their own receptors within the taste buds, and each receptor has its own ligand. Most of the tastes are ionotropic receptive, but umami, the taste for meaty and savory, is a metabotropic glutamate receptor (book). That wonderful meaty taste from MSG (monosodium glutamate) is activated in the umami receptors, creating a signal that fools people’s brains. Although umami is an amazing taste to have, it is not the main taste enhanced when a person is a supertaster. A person considered to be a supertaster has greater than normal amount of papillae, which contain the taste…show more content…
It is also believed that the bitter taste receptors allowed humans to detect toxins when ingested. Since bitter taste receptors are important in detecting toxins and in the immune system, not having the T2R receptor can be detrimental. People called nontasters lack the active genomes from both parents for T2R38 that was previously discussed as a bacteria fighting mechanism. Surprisingly, there are other parts that acquire bitter taste receptors and sweet taste receptors. The sweet taste receptors (T1R) seem to counteract the effects of T2R, in such a way that T2R is not activated more than necessary. Having this knowledge of the receptors, and what roles they can play in our bodies, it does seem to make sense to find T2R in places food does not make contact with. The other locations where T2R is found can be identifies as super tasters as well if both active genomes of T2R38 are present. This new research pertaining T2R can develop the medical field extensively by explaining why some people get infections more than others. For example, there are some women that have urinary tract infections (UTIs) more often than others, and this is still not quite understood by doctors. If a study is created in the understanding of UTIs by looking for T2R38 or other variations of T2R, doctors may be able to find a correlation between recurrent UTIs and a lack of an active genome for the T2R38
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