• Hannah Brown

Super-taster, Taster or Non-taster?


Many human traits are determined by a single pair of alleles, an alternative form of a gene, located at a specific position on a specific chromosome. These DNA codings determine distinct traits that can be passed on from parents to offspring…such as tongue rolling and dimpled cheeks.

Saying ‘yes please’ or ‘no thanks’ to cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli could also be down to a genetic trait.

Some of us have a gene that codes for a protein found in our tongues that enable you to taste a bitter compound, ‘phenylthiocarbamide (PTC)’. PTC can taste vile, bitter, or bland & insignificant depending upon whether you are a ‘super-taster’, ‘taster’ or ‘non-taster’.

If you are a super-taster or taster, PTC binds with the tongue protein causing you to either be disgusted by the bitter flavour ('super taster') or comment that you can taste something but it is not unpleasant ('taster'). However, if the protein is not present (i.e. you possess very few of these taste sensitive structures), the PTC will not bind and you won’t taste anything ('non-taster'). As this is a dominant trait (about 25% of the population are super taster, 50% tasters and 25% non-taster), you are in the majority if you can taste it.

The interesting thing is PTC is naturally found in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, kale, rocket, broccoli, collard greens, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. So if you’ve persisted for months or even years, and your child still refuses to get those ‘trees’ down him/her, then you may want to consider whether they are a ‘super-taster’.

So how do you know if your child's resistant eating behaviour is warranted or not? Check out the following link....and get armed with some blue or green natural food colouring:)

http://www.livescience.com/17190-supertaster-nontaster-tongue-evolution.html


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Hannah Brown

Nutrition For Life

Nutritional Therapist

63A Lancaster Grove, Belsize Park

 NW3 4HD, London, UK

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