Special Issue "Bitter Taste, Microbiome and Human Health"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Prebiotics and Probiotics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 November 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Raj Bhullar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Oral Biology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB Canada R3E 0W2
Interests: GPCRs, G-proteins, biochemical pharmacology; signal transduction; thrombosis; cardiovascular disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of this special issue is: (1) to provide insight into the structure-function of bitter taste receptors including, their role in body not related to taste; (2) functional foods and impact on health; (3) microbiota in the oral cavity, gut and airways. Humans make a food choice that are often based on the perceived good taste and does not necessarily reflect any health associated benefits. Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) play a major role in food choices and have been recently shown to also have a role in other physiological systems. This issue will discuss the diversity of T2R signaling and how they impact various physiological processes. Included in this will be the role of functional foods despite their taste in improving human health. Finally, the focus will also be on how oral, gut and airway microbiota interacts with physiological systems and how it can be modified to improve human health. Work connecting all the three aspects “bitter taste, specific microbiota and human health” is highly encouraged.

Prof. Dr. Raj Bhullar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • bitter taste receptor
  • T2Rs
  • taste modifier
  • meat by-products
  • functional foods
  • flax
  • flavonoids
  • oral microbiota
  • gut microbiota
  • airway microbiota
  • chemosensation
  • quorum sensing molecule
  • prebiotics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Glycated Beef Protein Hydrolysates as Sources of Bitter Taste Modifiers
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2166; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092166 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1283
Abstract
Being averse to bitter taste is a common phenomenon for humans and other animals, which requires the pharmaceutical and food industries to source compounds that can block bitterness intensity and increase consumer acceptability. In this work, beef protein alcalase hydrolysates (BPAH) and chymotrypsin [...] Read more.
Being averse to bitter taste is a common phenomenon for humans and other animals, which requires the pharmaceutical and food industries to source compounds that can block bitterness intensity and increase consumer acceptability. In this work, beef protein alcalase hydrolysates (BPAH) and chymotrypsin hydrolysates (BPCH) were reacted with glucose to initiate Maillard reactions that led to the formation of glycated or advanced glycation end products (AGEs), BPAH-AGEs and BPCH-AGEs, respectively. The degree of glycation was higher for the BPAH-AGEs (47–55%) than the BPCH-AGEs (30–38%). Analysis by an electronic tongue instrument showed that BPAH-AGEs and BPCH-AGEs had bitterness scores that were significantly (p < 0.05) less than quinine. The addition of BPAH-AGEs or BPCH-AGEs to quinine led to significant (p < 0.05) reductions (up to 38%) in bitterness intensity of quinine. The use of 3% hydrolysate to react with glucose yielded glycated peptides with a stronger ability to reduce quinine bitterness than when 1% was used. Calcium release from HEK293T cells stably expressing the T2R4 human bitter taste receptor was significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated by BPAH-AGEs (up to 96%) and BPCH-AGEs (up to 92%) when compared to the BPAH (62%) and BPCH (3%) or quinine (0%). We concluded that BPAH-AGEs and BPCH-AGEs may be used as bitter taste blockers to formulate better tasting foods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bitter Taste, Microbiome and Human Health)
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Article
Advanced Glycation End-Products Can Activate or Block Bitter Taste Receptors
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1317; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11061317 - 12 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1763
Abstract
Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) are expressed in several tissues of the body and are involved in a variety of roles apart from bitter taste perception. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are produced by glycation of amino acids in proteins. There are varying sources of [...] Read more.
Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) are expressed in several tissues of the body and are involved in a variety of roles apart from bitter taste perception. Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) are produced by glycation of amino acids in proteins. There are varying sources of AGEs, including dietary food products, as well as endogenous reactions within our body. Whether these AGEs are T2R ligands remains to be characterized. In this study, we selected two AGEs, namely, glyoxal-derived lysine dimer (GOLD) and carboxymethyllysine (CML), based on their predicted interaction with the well-studied T2R4, and its physiochemical properties. Results showed predicted binding affinities (Kd) for GOLD and CML towards T2R4 in the nM and μM range, respectively. Calcium mobilization assays showed that GOLD inhibited quinine activation of T2R4 with IC50 10.52 ± 4.7 μM, whilst CML was less effective with IC50 32.62 ± 9.5 μM. To characterize whether this antagonism was specific to quinine activated T2R4 or applicable to other T2Rs, we selected T2R14 and T2R20, which are expressed at significant levels in different human tissues. A similar effect of GOLD was observed with T2R14; and in contrast, GOLD and CML activated T2R20 with an EC50 of 79.35 ± 29.16 μM and 65.31 ± 17.79 μM, respectively. In this study, we identified AGEs as novel T2R ligands that caused either activation or inhibition of different T2Rs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bitter Taste, Microbiome and Human Health)
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Review

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Review
Taste Receptors in Upper Airway Innate Immunity
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2017; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11092017 - 28 Aug 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 2967
Abstract
Taste receptors, first identified on the tongue, are best known for their role in guiding our dietary preferences. The expression of taste receptors for umami, sweet, and bitter have been demonstrated in tissues outside of the oral cavity, including in the airway, brain, [...] Read more.
Taste receptors, first identified on the tongue, are best known for their role in guiding our dietary preferences. The expression of taste receptors for umami, sweet, and bitter have been demonstrated in tissues outside of the oral cavity, including in the airway, brain, gastrointestinal tract, and reproductive organs. The extra-oral taste receptor chemosensory pathways and the endogenous taste receptor ligands are generally unknown, but there is increasing data suggesting that taste receptors are involved in regulating some aspects of innate immunity, and may potentially control the composition of the nasal microbiome in healthy individuals or patients with upper respiratory diseases like chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). For this reason, taste receptors may serve as potential therapeutic targets, providing alternatives to conventional antibiotics. This review focuses on the physiology of sweet (T1R) and bitter (T2R) taste receptors in the airway and their activation by secreted bacterial products. There is particular focus on T2R38 in sinonasal ciliated cells, as well as the sweet and bitter receptors found on specialized sinonasal solitary chemosensory cells. Additionally, this review explores the impact of genetic variations in these receptors on the differential susceptibility of patients to upper airway infections, such as CRS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bitter Taste, Microbiome and Human Health)
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Review
Overcoming the Bitter Taste of Oils Enriched in Fatty Acids to Obtain Their Effects on the Heart in Health and Disease
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1179; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11051179 - 27 May 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1436
Abstract
Fatty acids come in a variety of structures and, because of this, create a variety of functions for these lipids. Some fatty acids have a role to play in energy metabolism, some help in lipid storage, cell structure, the physical state of the [...] Read more.
Fatty acids come in a variety of structures and, because of this, create a variety of functions for these lipids. Some fatty acids have a role to play in energy metabolism, some help in lipid storage, cell structure, the physical state of the lipid, and even in food stability. Fatty acid metabolism plays a particularly important role in meeting the energy demands of the heart. It is the primary source of myocardial energy in control conditions. Its role changes dramatically in disease states in the heart, but the pathologic role these fatty acids play depends upon the type of cardiovascular disease and the type of fatty acid. However, no matter how good a food is for one’s health, its taste will ultimately become a deciding factor in its influence on human health. No food will provide health benefits if it is not ingested. This review discusses the taste characteristics of culinary oils that contain fatty acids and how these fatty acids affect the performance of the heart during healthy and diseased conditions. The contrasting contributions that different fatty acid molecules have in either promoting cardiac pathologies or protecting the heart from cardiovascular disease is also highlighted in this article. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bitter Taste, Microbiome and Human Health)
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Review
Dietary Flaxseed as a Strategy for Improving Human Health
Nutrients 2019, 11(5), 1171; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu11051171 - 25 May 2019
Cited by 48 | Viewed by 6417
Abstract
Flaxseed is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside and fiber. These compounds provide bioactivity of value to the health of animals and humans through their anti-inflammatory action, anti-oxidative capacity and lipid modulating properties. The [...] Read more.
Flaxseed is a rich source of the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha linolenic acid, the lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside and fiber. These compounds provide bioactivity of value to the health of animals and humans through their anti-inflammatory action, anti-oxidative capacity and lipid modulating properties. The characteristics of ingesting flaxseed or its bioactive components are discussed in this article. The benefits of administering flaxseed or the individual bioactive components on health and disease are also discussed in this review. Specifically, the current evidence on the benefits or limitations of dietary flaxseed in a variety of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, gastro-intestinal health and brain development and function, as well as hormonal status in menopausal women, are comprehensive topics for discussion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bitter Taste, Microbiome and Human Health)
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