Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


You can’t fool the human body when it comes to carbs

You can’t fool the human body when it comes to carbs

That lack of ‘kick’ you feel when drinking diet beverages has a scientific basis: it seems the mouth is able to detect the presence or absence of carbohydrate even when a liquid tastes and smells identical to the real thing.

A new study by Dr Nick Gant’s team from the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland provides yet more evidence that the brain knows far more about the foods we ingest that previously thought.

“Liquid solutions used in our study were sweetened artificially but when carbohydrate was present, we saw increased activation in the brain that we don’t see when only sweetness is present,” he says. “This helps explain the ‘kick’ people complain is absent in diet beverages or products.

“We may be able to use the experimental platform in this study to help develop functional foods and artificial sweeteners that are as hedonistically rewarding as the real thing.”

The study used a unique brain imaging sequence to test the behavioural and neural response of ten participants who performed arm exercises while their mouths were rinsed with carbohydrate, artificial sweetener or placebo solution.

The study found a 30% increase in task-related brain activity when carbohydrate was present even though the liquid wasn’t swallowed.

“This study provides further evidence of a “sixth taste sense” for carbohydrate by receptors in the human mouth. The mouth signals that energy is on its way which in turn leads to increased activity in key regions of the brain including those that control movement and vision.”

The study findings could also explain why the ‘perk up’ response noted in athletes after they have drunk carbohydrate is immediate, even though the body hasn’t had time to absorb it and convert it to energy.

“Carbohydrates are extremely powerful oral stimuli that have profound and immediate effects on the brain and the mouth is a more capable sensory organ that we currently appreciate,” Dr Gant says.

Brain networks that signal between the mouth and the brain are thought to break down in some eating disorders.

“Those responses are absent when nil by mouth patients are fed artificially and this help may explain why artificial nutrition therapy is less successful than ingesting food in the normal way.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: Leighton-Led WGP To Build, Manage Transmission Gully

The Wellington Gateway Partnership, led by a unit of ASX-listed Leighton Holdings, has won the $1 billion contract to build the Transmission Gully road north of Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

Gareth Morgan: The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – Revisited

Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation... They found that the fresh water policy was a bit murkier than the Environment Minister let on. More>>

ALSO:

Interest Rates: RBNZ Hikes OCR To 3.5%, ‘Period Of Assessment’ Now Needed

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler raised the official cash rate as expected, while signalling a pause in rate hikes to assess the impact of moves so far this year. The kiwi dollar sank after Wheeler said its strength was “unjustified” and that the currency could have “a significant fall.” More>>

ALSO:

Fonterra: Canpac Site 'Resize' To Focus More On Paediatrics

Fonterra is looking at realigning its packing operations at Canpac, in the Waikato, to focus more on paediatric nutritionals... The proposed changes could mean around 110 roles may not be required at the site which currently employs 330. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Postie Plus Brand Gets 2nd Chance With Well-Funded Pepkor

The Postie Plus brand is getting a new lease of life after South Africa’s Pepkor bought the failed retailer’s assets out of administration and said it will use its purchasing power to reduce costs of stock and fatten margins. More>>

ALSO:

Warming: Warming Signs From State Of Climate Report

Climate data from air, land, sea and ice in 2013 'reflect trends of a warming planet' -- says the latest State of the Climate report, launched by U.S. and New Zealand scientists. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news