Taste receptors in the gut - A new target for health promoting properties in diet

Food Res Int. 2017 Oct;100(Pt 2):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2017.08.024. Epub 2017 Aug 14.


In this review we describe a new target for food functionality, the taste receptors in the gastrointestinal tract. These receptors are involved in an intricate signalling network for monitoring of taste and nutrient intake, homeostasis and energy metabolism, and they are also an early warning system for toxic substances in our diet. Especially the receptors for bitter taste provide a new possibility to activate a number of health related signalling pathways, already at low concentrations of the active substance, without requiring uptake into the body and transport via the circulation. When ligands bind to these receptors, signalling is induced either via peptide hormones into the circulation to other organs in the body, or via nerve fibers directly to the brain.

Keywords: Cell – cell signalling; Crosstalk; Functional food; Taste; Taste receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Diet*
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Functional Food
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / metabolism*
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Liver / physiology
  • Nerve Fibers
  • Peptide Hormones
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Taste / physiology*
  • Taste Buds / metabolism*


  • Peptide Hormones
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled