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Garlic Helps, Too

Super-tasters with certain gene variants are more likely to dislike certain dark green, leafy vegetables, CNN reports.

According to CNN, a new study presented at American Heart Association annual meeting found that individuals with such gene variants are 2.6 times more likely to eat fewer vegetables. "We wanted to know if genetics affected the ability of people who need to eat heart-healthy foods from eating them," study author Jennifer Smith, a postdoc at the University of Kentucky School of Medicine tells CNN.

CNN notes that though there are more than two dozen taste receptors in the mouth, TAS2R38 with its two variants, AVI and PAV, is the most studied. About half of people inherit one copy of the AVI variant and one copy of the PAV variant, it says, and can taste both bitter and sweet foods, but are not especially sensitive to bitter food. About a quarter of people, though, inherit two copies of PAV, it says, and are sensitive to bitter foods like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. Another quarter of people inherit two copies of the AVI variant aren't sensitive to bitterness.

The University of Connecticut's Valerie Duffy tells CNN that even people who are sensitive to bitterness can enjoy such vegetables, especially if they are cooked with a small amount of fat or with a strong taste like garlic.