Saturday, January 14, 2012

Explanation as to why you like your burgers and fries...

As we all know, we are constantly bombarded with the fact that America is the most obese nation in the world. We are all addicted to our french fries, burgers, and supersize milkshakes. We live for convenience. Today, I would like to share with you a study by Pepino et al in The Journal of Lipid Research. In the study, a novel receptor gene, CD36, was found to detect the presence of fat! Participants were given a fatty oil and a control non-fat oil and asked to determine which was which. It was found that people who produced a high level of this protein were more sensitive to fat than those that produced less. But wait! There is a catch! Diet affected the sensitivity of the protein, as it affects the amount of protein made. So that means that a high fat diet = less CD36 = decreased sensitivity to fat. Such a vicious cycle!
CD36 was activated by fatty acids, and not triglycerides, although humans can taste both. 
So what does this mean? My interpretation is simple: the overabundance of fat in our convenience food has overridden our bodies natural response mechanisms. This study shows only one protein that is knocked off balance. I can only imagine havoc that is caused when holistically considered. So the next time you pick up that burger, think of the simple protein CD36. As for me, I think I will be sticking to my vegetarian diet. Stay tuned for further madness!

~ LD

Article discussed:
Blame your tastebuds for liking fat: Receptor for tasting fat identified in Humans found at

Full Research Paper: 
M. Y. Pepino, L. Love-Gregory, S. Klein, N. A. Abumrad.The fatty acid translocase gene, CD36, and lingual lipase influence oral sensitivity to fat in obese subjects.The Journal of Lipid Research, 201

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