Can’t resist chocolates and desserts? It might be hereditary as researchers have suggested that having a ‘sweet tooth’ might be in your genetics.
Daniel Hwang from QIMR Berghofer’s Genetic Epidemiology has found that a single set of genes affects a person’s perception of sweet taste, regardless of whether it is a natural sugar or a substitute.
Hwang said that the data they collected from participants in the Queensland twins study provided the first solid evidence that approximately 30 percent of variation in the perception of sweet taste could be attributed to genetic factors.
In the research, 243 pairs of identical twins, 452 pairs of fraternal twins, and 511 individuals, were asked to taste and then rate the intensity of four sweet solutions – fructose, glucose and two calorie-free synthetic sweeteners.
The participants were asked to mark a line on a scale ranging from no sweet sensation, to the strongest imaginable sweetness.
Hwang said that the research could provide a clue to solving taste disorders, which can have a significant impact on peoples’ eating patterns and can be a risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
The study suggested that 70 percent of sweet taste perception could be related to environmental factors, so it was still possible for people to change their dietary habits.
The study is published in Twin Research and Human Genetics.