Gut`s sweet food taste mechanisms abnormal in diabetics

Washington: Researchers have found that the way that the gut `tastes` sweet food differs in type 2 diabetes sufferers, which could lead to problems with glucose uptake.

Dr Richard Young, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher in the University of Adelaide`s Nerve-Gut Research Laboratory, says taste buds aren`t the only way the body detects sweetness.

He said that when we talk about `sweet taste`, most people think of tasting sweet food on their tongue, but scientists have found that sweet taste receptors are present in a number of sites in the human body.

Young said that they`re now just beginning to understand the importance of the sweet taste receptors in the human intestine and what this means for sufferers of type 2 diabetes.

In his study, Dr Young compared healthy adults with type 2 diabetic adults. He found that the control of sweet taste receptors in the intestine of the healthy adults enabled their bodies to effectively regulate glucose intake 30 minutes after exposure to glucose.

However, abnormalities in the diabetic adults resulted in more rapid glucose uptake.

Young said that when sweet taste receptors in the intestine detect glucose, they trigger a response that may regulate the way glucose is absorbed by the intestine.

He said that the studies have shown that in diabetes patients, the glucose is absorbed more rapidly and in greater quantities than in healthy adults.

Young said that this shows that diabetes is not just a disorder of the pancreas and of insulin - the gut plays a bigger role than researchers have previously considered.

He added that this is because the body`s own management of glucose uptake may rely on the actions of sweet taste receptors, and these appear to be abnormally controlled in people with type 2 diabetes.

The results have been published online in the international journal Diabetes.


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