Effect of carbonation on brain processing of sweet stimuli in humans

Gastroenterology. 2013 Sep;145(3):537-9.e3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.05.041. Epub 2013 May 25.


Little is known about how CO2 affects neural processing of taste. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the effects of carbonation on brain processing of sweet stimuli, which has relevance to studies of food selection and satiety. The presence of carbonation produced an overall decrease in the neural processing of sweetness-related signals, especially from sucrose. CO2 reduced the neural processing of sucrose more than that of artificial sweeteners. These findings might be relevant to dietary interventions that include noncaloric beverages, whereas the combination of CO2 and sucrose might increase consumption of sucrose.

Keywords: AI; Amy; As-Ac; Beverage Consumption; Brain; Gustatory System; OFC; amygdala; anterior insula; aspartame and acesulfame; fMRI; orbitofrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspartame / pharmacology*
  • Carbon Dioxide / pharmacology*
  • Carbonated Beverages*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Sucrose / pharmacology*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*
  • Taste Perception / drug effects*
  • Thiazines / pharmacology*


  • Sweetening Agents
  • Thiazines
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Sucrose
  • acetosulfame
  • Aspartame