Taste receptors of Gut could help us to treat obesity and related disorders

Researchers are of the opinion that obesity treatment can be enhanced by targeting the taste receptors in the gut.

This research has been published online in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism.

This might be interesting to know that our gut has the same feelings (receptors or sensors) for taste as our tongue that work through the same signaling mechanisms. Those receptors or sensors are helpful in controlling the overindulgence in the food intake and blood sugar levels. They respond to the excessive food intake and thereby their disturbance could result in the obesity, diabetes and other metabolic conditions.

Proposed model for nutrient-sensing mechanism of the ghrelin cells in the gut (Credit: TRENDS in Endocrinology & Metabolism)

Researchers have reported that increasing evidences showed that obesity and other such disorders could be treated by targeting the taste receptors in the gut that would present the fullness condition showing physiological effects of food resulting in the body’s thinking that the food has been consumed.

Researchers wrote, “Our understanding of the molecular pharmacology, physiological function, and therapeutic potential of extra-oral nutrient-sensing receptors is evolving quickly. It is tempting to speculate that obesity and diabetes could be treated by selective targeting of nutrient sensors on endocrine cells to release satiety hormones that are often co-stored in conjunction with insulin from the pancreas, thereby mimicking the physiological effects of a meal and fooling the body that it has eaten.”

“The effectiveness of bariatric surgery to cause profound weight loss and a decrease in the prevalence of diabetes and other obesity-related conditions is not completely understood, but it may involve changes in the release of gut hormones,” Dr. Inge Depoortere, of the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium., said in a statement. “Targeting extraoral taste receptors that affect the release of hormones that control food intake may offer a new road to mimic these effects in a nonsurgical manner.”

However, further researches on this subject have to be conducted to reach the optimal therapeutic strategy.


Janssen, S., & Depoortere, I. (2012). Nutrient sensing in the gut: new roads to therapeutics? Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism DOI: 10.1016/j.tem.2012.11.006


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