Sweet taste receptor gene TAS1R2 and chocolate powder

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January 13, 2019 – Are genetic variations in the sweet taste receptor gene related to chocolate powder and dietary fiber intake in obese children and adolescents? This was the question in a recent study just published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine. On one hand, the authors of the study found no relationship between genotypes and risk of obesity. On the other hand however, those adolescents carrying the serine allele of SNP rs9701796 in TAS1R2 showed higher waist-to-height ratio and chocolate powder intake, whereas those carrying the valine allele of SNP rs35874116 in TAS1R2 were characterized by lower dietary fiber intake.

Childhood obesity is a major public health problem. It has a direct impact on the quality of life of children and adolescents, as well as on their future risk of developing chronic diseases. Dietary patterns rich in fats and sugars and lacking dietary fibers, vitamins, and minerals, as well as lack of physical exercise have been associated with the rise of obesity prevalence. However, until now, factors that contribute to the preference for foods rich in these nutrients are not well established. Taste is recognized as an important predictor of food choices, and polymorphisms in taste-related genes may explain the variability of taste preference and food intake. The aim of this research is to evaluate the influence of polymorphisms of the sweet taste receptor gene TAS1R2 on diet and metabolic profile in obese children and adolescents. A cross-sectional study with 513 obese children and adolescents and 135 normal-weight children was carried out. A molecular study was performed for the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs9701796 and rs35874116 of TAS1R2, and dietary intake, anthropometric parameters (weight, height, waist circumference, waist-to-height ratio (WHtR)), and metabolic profile (including fasting glucose, insulin, triglyceride, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)–cholesterol, and leptin levels) were analyzed. The variant rs9701796 was associated with increased waist-height ratio, as well as with a higher chocolate powder intake in obese children. The variant rs35874116 was associated with a lower dietary fiber intake. In conclusion, there was no relationship between genotypes and risk of obesity. Obese adolescents carrying the serine allele of SNP rs9701796 in TAS1R2 showed higher waist-to-height ratio and chocolate powder intake, whereas those carrying the valine allele of SNP rs35874116 in TAS1R2 were characterized by lower dietary fiber intake. there was no relationship between genotypes and risk of obesity.

These is another example showing that even our behavioral phenotypes when it comes to eating habits and choices of food, we may not be free from the influence of the genetic outfit underlying our individuality. Very interesting indeed. Seems that often, we can’t help ourselves; it is in the genes. Thasso had a similar article in the past.

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About the Author
thassodotcom Ph.D.; Professor in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Senior expert in theragenomic and personalized medicine and individualized drug safety. Senior expert in pharmaco- and toxicogenetics. Senior expert in human safety of drugs, chemicals, environmental pollutants, and dietary ingredients.

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