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Don’t like the taste of broccoli? You might have your genes to blame, say scientists

Don’t like the taste of broccoli? You might have your genes to blame, say scientists

Some of us might be genetically wired to dislike the taste of foods such as cabbage, broccoli and even chocolate. 

Don’t like the taste of broccoli? You might have your genes to blame, say scientists

Scientists have discovered a gene that makes some compounds taste bitter, making it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet.

“Your genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice,” said lead researcher Jennifer L. Smith, from the University of Kentucky School of Medicine.

We all inherit two copies of a taste gene called TAS2R38. People who inherit two copies of the variant called AVI aren’t sensitive to butter taste from certain chemicals. Those with one copy of AVI and another called PAV perceive bitter taste of these chemicals; however, individuals with two copies of PAV, often called ‘super-tasters’, find the same foods exceptionally bitter.

They’re likely to find broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage unpleasantly bitter; and may also react negatively to dark chocolate, coffee and beer.

“Down the road we hope we can use genetic information to figure out which vegetables people may be better able to accept and to find out which spices appeal to supertasters so we can make it easier for them to eat more vegetables,” said Smith.

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