J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011 Aug 8. [Epub ahead of print]
From The Tongue To The Gut.
* European Laboratory for Food Induced Diseases, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy † University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo-Bra (CN), Italy.
ABSTRACT: The physiology of human taste enjoyed an unprecedented expansion of knowledge brought forward by modern genetics and molecular biology. In the last 10 years the cellular organization of taste receptors from taste buds distributed in the various papillae of the tongue and the soft palate was enlightened. This molecular revolution rapidly expanded over and above the tongue, since several papers reporting the presence of taste receptors in non-gustatory tissues (like the gut and the brain) appeared. Hence the issue of perception of food molecules is not anymore confined to the field of nutrition and food preferences, but is rapidly expanding to gastrointestinal function and, possibly, to gut dysfunction too. In children functional gastrointestinal diseases are strictly correlated to food preference and food aversion and up to now the tools to face these kind of problems were the basic nutritional requirements, familial good sense and a lot of patience: blunt tools to face very common and disturbing complaints. The fact that taste receptors are expressed down the whole of intestinal tract is of particular interest, because of their possible role in digestive behavior and absorption of nutrients; therefore recent and future discoveries in this field will make possible to fine-tune new, sharper tools to face children with functional gastrointestinal diseases.
- [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]