A Brief Review on How Pregnancy and Sex Hormones Interfere with Taste and Food Intake

Chemosens Percept. 2010 Mar;3(1):51-56. doi: 10.1007/s12078-009-9061-5. Epub 2009 Nov 4.


Many physiological and behavioral changes take place during pregnancy, including changes in taste and an increase in food intake. These changes are necessary to ensure growth and development of a healthy fetus. Both hyperphagia and taste changes during pregnancy may be induced by sex hormones estrogen and progesterone that are increased during pregnancy. Indeed, it has been shown that estrogen decreases food intake, while progesterone increases food intake. This is for instance apparent from the fact that food intake changes during the menstrual cycle with variation in sex hormones. This review will give a short overview of the effects of pregnancy and sex hormones on food intake and taste.