Scientists may have found cause of emotional eating
In a recent study published in the journal Neuroscience Letters, researchers identified receptors for stress-activated hormones called glucocorticoids (GCs), which are located in the taste buds in the mouth responsible for detecting sweet, savory and bitter tastes.
In order to determine whether these GC receptors are triggered by stress, the scientists looked at the number of taste cells that had GC receptors in the nuclei among both stressed and non-stressed mice. The findings revealed that stressed mice had a 77 percent higher level of GC receptors in their taste cell nuclei than non-stressed mice.
Researchers say the study results indicate that sweet taste perception and consumption of sugary foods may be directly influenced by GC secretion and GC receptor activation, which is triggered by stress. The researchers add that stress is also known to increase intake of salty foods. But, in this study, the team did not find any GC receptors in taste buds associated with salty and sour tastes. The team says this may be because stress could have an influence on salt taste processing in the brain.