Most of us do, it is hard wired into us. Our brain needs the stuff to tick over and as a consequence, your brain, is always on the lookout for sources of sugar.
But our perceptions of sweet vary. This is why some people can handle coffee without any sweetner and others, pretty much have coffee with their sugar, needing 3 or 4 teaspoons of sugar, to make the coffee palatable.
Our sweet sensitivity is highly variable.
This variation may be part genetic and part conditioning. Researchers from the University of Adelaide, think it is part of the problem, for people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
The sweet spots of the gut
Now most of us assume, the ability to pick up sweet tastes is solely located in the mouth, because the mouth is the repository of taste buds. And tastebuds in your mouth, shoot out messages to the brain and the rest of the body, these brain messages are designed to inform the conscious brain of what was in the bite, we just ate.
This helps our brain decide whether to take a second and a third bite.
But, the ability to “taste” is not restricted to the start of the digestive tract, taste receptors are dotted throughout the gut.
The taste receptors inside the gut are tasked with letting the gut know what is coming down the pike, ensuring the right hormones and things, are released to metabolise the bite.
The receptors known as T1R2 and T1R3, are significant players when it comes to “tasting” sugar. It is these receptors that seem to be misfiring in type 2 diabetics.
A spoonful of sugar or three
The Auzzie team analysed how much “tasting” was happening in intestinal cells, under different circumstances. They did this by pinching a few of these cells via endoscopic biopsy (ouch) and then measuring the extent to which the cells were making taste receptors.
Under normal circumstances, when sugar levels are normal, the intestinal cells routinely make sweet taste receptors.
But in people with type 2 diabetes, high sugar levels don’t flip the off switch, in fact, just the opposite seems to happen, the intestinal cells started churning out more taste receptors.
Diabetic cells not tasting the sugar
The failure of the gut cells to register that the sugar levels are high, leaves them floundering.
In the confusion – more sugar ends up being “processed” and sent into the blood.
More sugar going in more quickly, means higher sugar levels and more pressure on the pancreas to produce more insulin.
Pancreas not solely to blame
And in the type 2 diabetic, the pancreas fails to perform adequately, not enough insulin is released to bring the sugar levels down – causing hyperglycemia.
Traditionally the pancreas is blamed for the malfunction, but is it really too blame ? This research suggests the gut is a major contributor to the insulin shortage.
When the gut fails to taste the sugar and respond accordingly, it forces the pancreas to work a lot harder than it should.
It takes two to tango
The pancreas and the gut !
The observation, that a little creative rearranging of the gut during bariatric surgery, effectively “cures” type 2 diabetes, has changed the game.
It’s time for type 2 diabetics to take notice.
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Battling to control your sugar levels ?
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