Fat Taste Receptors

Fat Taste Receptors

High consumption of fat in diets is linked to obesity and heart disease . Fat preference and consumption vary considerably across individuals. Amongst the many complex factors involved, genetics can also play a role.

What is the CD36 gene?

The CD63 gene encodes a membrane bound protein. It has a broad range of functions in immunity and inflammation and is also involved in the transport of fatty acids across cell membranes. This transportation is the first step of fat metabolism in your body. CD36 is also expressed on taste buds and through this, it is involved in fat detection.

What is the effect of genetic variation at the CD36 gene?

The presence of alleles at the CD36 gene result in a reduced ability to register fats in foods and increased fat preference. This occurs because genetic variation alters the amount of CD36 protein expressed on the taste bud cells in the mouth. Existing research shows that risk alleles are present in about 20% of individuals and it has been shown that these individuals have a higher BMI and have a higher risk of obesity than individuals that have no SNP.

Backed by Science

Our in-house scientists have sorted through thousands of studies and we only use genes that are backed by a significant body of peer-reviewed research. Check out Nell’s Science Standard for more information.