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: RBNZ Keeps OCR At 3.5%, Signals Slower Pace Of Future Hikes

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 3.5 percent and signalled he won’t be as aggressive with future rate hikes as previously thought as inflation remains tamer than expected. The kiwi dollar fell to a seven-month low. More>>

ALSO:

Weather: Dry Spells Take Hold In South Island

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues... for some South Island places, the current period of fine weather is quite rare. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Productivity Commission To Look At Housing Land Supply

The Productivity Commission is to expand on its housing affordability report with an investigation into improving land supply and development capacity, particularly in areas with strong population growth. More>>

ALSO:

Forestry: Man Charged After 2013 Death

Levin Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter in relation to the death of Lincoln Kidd who was killed during a tree felling operation on 19 December 2013. More>>

ALSO:

Smells Like Justice: Dairy Company Fined Over Odour

Dairy company fined over odour Dairy supply company Open Country Dairy Limited has been convicted and fined more than $35,000 for discharging objectionable odour from its Waharoa factory at the time of last year’s ”spring flush” when milk supply was high. More>>

Scoop Business: Dairy Product Prices Decline To Lowest Since July 2012

Dairy product prices dropped to the lowest level since July 2012 in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction, led by a slump in rennet casein and butter milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

SOE Results: TVNZ Lifts Annual Profit 25% On Flat Ad Revenue, Quits Igloo

Television New Zealand, the state-owned broadcaster, lifted annual profit 25 percent, ahead of forecast and despite a dip in advertising revenue, while quitting its stake in the pay-TV Igloo joint venture with Sky Network Television. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand

Mosh Social Media
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news