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Lisa16

Gluten Receptors On The Tongue?

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Today they were interviewing the author of "What the Nose Knows' on the radio, and he said that a few years ago, researchers had discovered "umami" receptors on the tongue-- special cells dedicated to perceiving a savory flavor, like in msg. He went on to say that we had "gluten" receptors. I was not clear if he meant these were the same thing or not.

As a celiac, it struck me as odd given that there are cultures which are not wheat-based. It also got me to thinking about if anybody was doing research to see if celiacs had these receptors in greater of lesser number than the average population.

Has anybody heard of this?

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They have discovered we have glutamate receptors. It is confusing because it sounds like "gluten".


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They have discovered we have glutamate receptors. It is confusing because it sounds like "gluten".

Neither is it news really.....

The fifth taste (MSG) has been defined for some time but is generally known by its Japaense name Unami.

Ikeda's study was sometime in the early 1900's... so this has been known for over 100 yrs.


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They have discovered we have glutamate receptors. It is confusing because it sounds like "gluten".

Since MSG is a form of glutamic acid (Mono Sodium Glutamate), and Unami is the "taste" which MSG amplifies, then I'd agree they where probably talking about glutamate receptors.

Although the flavor "kick" of MSG has been known, what I don't recall reading anything about is special receptors on the tongue for it. So maybe that part is relatively new. It does make sense though, because MSG goes to the brain so fast, which is why it effects the flavor of food while it's still in your mouth.

I just looked it up, and it appears there are some relatively new discoveries regarding MSG receptors.

The discovery of umami receptors, taste receptors for L-glutamate, using methods of molecular biology is one of the recent highlights of taste research. In 2000, a modified glutamate receptor of the brain was found, the taste-mGluR4. It is a G protein-coupled (metabotropic) receptor. The taste variety of mGluR4 has a truncated N-terminal to which L-glutamate still binds, albeit with reduced affinity. Presumably, therefore, the truncation adapted the receptor to the high glutamate concentration in food (Chaudhari et al., 2000 LINK). More recently, another umami receptor was discovered. Interestingly, this one is a heteromere built of the G protein-coupled receptors T1R1 and T1R3. In mice this heteromere responds to many amino acids contained in food, but in humans its response is preferentially to L-glutamate and is enhanced by IMP (Nelson et al., 2002 LINK). Shortly after Nelson et al.'s publication, these results were strongly confirmed by another group (Li et al., 2002 LINK).

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Here is the audio link to the interview.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/w...21/midmorning2/

I was so sure he said "gluten" receptors! Either he misspoke or I misheard. At any rate, it is an interesting interview. He talks about somaliers and perfumers and also about the difference between french and american perfumes.

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