Upsides to Being a Supertaster: Your Immune System Rules

According to a new study, the same bitter receptors that make you hate Brussels sprouts also help prevent bacterial infections


Supertasters have another thing to feel superior about nowadays: research shows that people who are more susceptible to bitter tastes also have a better chance of avoiding common bacterial infections.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that bitter receptors in the sinus are also involved in activating the immune system, working as an "early detection system" for bacterial invaders.

People who think Brussels sprouts are bitter are more likely to be supertasters, meaning they have the responsive bitter receptor gene called TAS2R38. Unfortunately, nearly a third of people in the U.S. and in Europe lack the specific taste-receptor, meaning they're more susceptible to upper respiratory infections.

The research suggests that certain bitter compounds can be used to trigger the immune system, thus preventing bacterial infections. Researchers are looking into a bitter nasal spray and other tactics to ward off infections for those lacking the receptors. So all you non-tasters, you'll catch up eventually.


Be a Part of the Conversation

Have something to say?
Add a comment (or see what others think).

Comments 0
5
Ratings4


Like this story? Get updates by email, facebook and twitter
Get daily food and wine coverage


Latest from The Daily Meal

The Daily Meal Video Network
DIY VS. BUY: Potato Chips

Post a comment

Add a Comment

Upload a picture of yourself no larger than 3MB, please see Terms for details
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
CAPTCHA
Please answer this Captcha to prove you are human