Does the predisposition genetic to bitterness affect dietary habits and nutrition status?

This article explores a fascinating field of nutrition studies . We will examine the connection between genetics and the ability to detect bitterness and the way it can influence dietary practices and our overall nutritional status. In my role as a nutritionist and dietitian, I'll share scientific insights, examples and tips that will help you understand this part of your dietary habits.

Understanding genetic predispositions is important

It is important to understand our genetic dispositions in order to manage our health and nutrition effectively. The ability to detect bitterness is largely determined by the TAS2R38 genetic code. This gene has also been associated with certain diet choices. People with high bitter taste sensitivity often steer clear of foods such as dark chocolate, coffee and some vegetables that are rich in nutrients.

The avoidance of cruciferous vegetables can lead to nutritional deficiencies, and an unbalanced eating pattern that may negatively impact one's overall health. A study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who are sensitive to bitterness eat fewer cruciferous veggies, and may miss out on the cancer-fighting benefits. Understanding your genetic disposition can be used to tailor diets for optimal health.

Start by identifying your predisposition

It's important to know your genetic disposition towards bitterness before making any changes in diet. A simple taste test using a substance called PROP (6-n-propylthiouracil) can reveal if you are a 'non-taster,' 'taster,' or 'super taster.' It is best to perform this test under the supervision of a professional. It is important to remember that knowing your predisposition does not mean labeling eating habits, but rather empowering you with the knowledge necessary to make informed choices about your diet.

Bitter foods and their nutritional impact

Other Tips

Consider a slow introduction of bitter foods to your diet, or combine them with flavors that will mask their bitterness. The cooking method can make a big difference. For example, roasting Brussels sprouts will help to reduce the bitterness. According to research in Appetite, exposing yourself to new tastes over time can lead to a greater liking.


Conclusion: Our genetic disposition to bitterness may have a significant impact on our nutritional and dietary status. Understanding this connection will help us make better decisions regarding our diets and ensure that we are getting the right nutrients. Nutrition is a personal thing. What works for you may not be the best for someone else. Finding the right balance is important.