A study carried out by The University of Adelaide unlocks brand new thinking about how type 2 diabetes can affect the body.
Whilst we’re well aware that we have taste receptors in the mouth, fewer of us are aware that we also have taste receptors deeper within our digestive system, in our small intestine.
The Australian researchers investigated whether these taste receptors in the small intestine behaved differently in people with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
The study monitored 13 people with type 2 diabetes and 14 people without the condition. A glucose solution was delivered directly into the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine, and differences in the expression of sweet taste receptors (STRs) were measured.
The results showed that expression of taste receptors was the same amongst both groups when blood glucose levels were still at normal levels of around 5.2 mmol/l but when these sugar levels reached a higher level of around 12 mmol/l after 30 minutes of receiving the glucose, the taste receptors behaved very differently between the two groups. At hyperglycemia, the expression of taste receptors of people with type 2 diabetes increased, whilst expression of taste receptors in the people with diabetes decreased.
The researchers note that this may lead to people with type 2 diabetes absorbing higher amounts of glucose more quickly. Further studies will be required to show how the body responds throughout digestion but the findings could open new doors as to how to reduce post prandial blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

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