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Health

Yuck or yum? Researchers say your sense of taste may affect how long you live

Are your taste buds linked to your overall health?
Paul Scott
/
Flickr

We know that our taste buds help steer us toward foods we like and away from things that might not be safe for us to eat.

But some interesting research suggests your sense of taste might actually affect how long you live.

Scott Pletcher is one of the researchers. He's with the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan.

Research shows that sensory experience can impact organisms’ behavior and physiology.

“The sensory system is viewed as the brain window to the world,” Pletcher said. “Simple experiences that we have taken for granted for years are interpreted by the brain and induce dramatic changes in us physiologically.”

Pletcher relates this to the experience of being hungry, smelling an apple pie and feeling your stomach react.

“What we are realizing is that this is not just a short-term thing, and maybe it has long-term consequences,” Pletcher said.

*Listen to full interview above.