It is due to taste genes that people avoid vegetables


A new research in genes has determined that some people have a strong dislike towards eating vegetables. According to a team of US researchers, the genes could play a significant role in determining one’s liking for vegetables.

The researchers allege, by inheriting two copies of the unpleasant taste gene called TAS2R38, it provides a “ruin-your-day level of bitterness” for foods like sprouts and broccoli.

This is also one of the reasons why some people found it difficult to make vegetables part of their diet. Furthermore, the gene was also responsible for making coffee, beer and dark chocolate taste unpleasant.

It is considered as a good sign when people are sensitive towards bitter taste as it ensures that the humans are protected from eating things that could also be poisonous. However, this has also made people struggle to make fresh fruits and vegetables as a part of the recommended five day diet.

According to experts, everyone inherits two copies of the taste gene. It further helps in encoding protein from the taste receptors on the tongue, which also helps in recognizing the taste of bitterness.

People who inherit two copies of a variant of the gene TAS2R38, known as AVI, are not sensitive to bitter tastes of certain chemicals. However the ones with one copy of AVI along with another, known as PAV are sensitive to bitter taste of the chemicals, however not to the extent of individuals who have two copies of PAV, often known as “super-tasters”. Such people often find the same foods extremely bitter.

For the study, researchers examined 175 people. It was found that those who had two copies of bitter taste PAV version of the gene consumed only small amounts of leafy green vegetables. Further research in the area, will have the team explore on whether using spices could help control the bitter taste and hence also help in making vegetables more appealing for people who dislike them.