A new study from the United States has claimed that the pancreas appears to taste fructose, a substance found naturally in many foods and beverages such as fruit and honey. The scientists found that the pancreas has sweet taste receptors similar to that of the tongue, allowing it to taste the fructose, which is also added to a lot of processed foods, including cereals.
The research into pancreatic cells, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that when the pancreas tastes fructose, this had an effect on insulin secretion – the hormone that allows blood sugar to enter the body’s cells – when glucose is also present. Too high levels of insulin, as well as an inefficient use of the hormone, have been associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Senior author Bjorn Tyrberg, from the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Florida, said “The coolest thing in my mind is that we now understand that taste isn’t only for the tongue. We have a whole slew of cells for controlling how we deal with sugars.”
However, the study wasn’t able to identify the effect fructose has on the body’s metabolism, as well as how the fact that fructose is not inert with insulin secretion is connected to obesity and the development of type 2 diabetes.

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