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Dietary zinc intake and sex differences in taste acuity in healthy young adults

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

McDaid, O., Stewart-Knox, Barbara J., Parr, H. and Simpson, E. (2007) Dietary zinc intake and sex differences in taste acuity in healthy young adults. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, 20 (2). pp. 103-110. [Journal article]

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Background Previous research suggests that adequate dietary zinc intake may be important in determining the sensory experience of food, appetite and consequently, dietary quality. The aim of this pilot study was to explore relationships between taste sensitivity and dietary zinc intake in healthy young adults (age 20-40 years: 24 male, mean age +/- SD = 27 +/- 4.86 years; 26 female, mean age +/- SD = 23 +/- 2.10). Method A signal detection method was used to assess taste acuity for the four basic tastes: sweet (glucose), sour (citric acid), salt (sodium chloride) and bitter (quinine). A 4-day food diary was used to determine dietary intakes of zinc (mg day(-1)) and salt. Results Males reported a higher zinc intake than females (P = 0.001). Higher dietary zinc intake was associated with better taste acuity for salt in females (P = 0.017) but not in males. Acuity for bitter taste appeared to be related to zinc intake in males (P = 0.007) but not females. Among those whose average daily zinc intake was below the RNI, males were less sensitive than females to sour (P = 0.02) and bitter (P = 0.014) taste. Conclusion These findings suggest that zinc is more important for taste acuity in males than females and indicate the importance of taking sex differences into account when studying taste acuity.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Psychology Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
Psychology Research Institute > Health and Wellbeing
ID Code:11385
Deposited By:Dr Barbara Stewart-Knox
Deposited On:10 Feb 2010 15:14
Last Modified:11 Dec 2013 16:56

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