Look to the Taste Buds

Published Online: Friday, August 1, 2003

Individuals fall into 3 categories when known as PROP, to test the participants? it comes to their tongues and taste taste buds. The results showed that buds?supertasters, tasters, and non- some participants did not notice a differ-tasters. A study by Prof. Linda Bar- ence; others found the taste bitter; and toshuk, PhD, Yale University, found that others found it very unpleasant. some people are born with more taste Taste also plays a big role when buds than others, meaning that they are individuals take medication. For ex-better able to distinguish between tastes. ample, many children as well as Nearly a quarter of the population are adults have a difficult time taking bit-nontasters, 50% are tasters, and the rest ter-tasting medicines. Pharmacists are supertasters. Approximately 35% of have the ability to reformulate medica-women are supertasters, compared with tions?including liquids, powders, just 15% of men, according to the study pills, and OTC products?by using findings. Dr. Bartoshuk said that super- medical flavoring systems. These sys-tasters perceive all tastes as more tems allow pharmacists to add a vari-intense than tasters and nontasters. ety of flavors to meet patients? prefer-The researchers used a solution of 6- ences and to cut down on the bitter propylthiouracil, a thyroid medication taste of many medications.

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