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Nutrients 2013, 5(12), 4950-4963; doi:10.3390/nu5124950

Salty Taste Acuity Is Affected by the Joint Action of αENaC A663T Gene Polymorphism and Available Zinc Intake in Young Women

1
Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
2
Research Institute of Human Ecology, College of Human Ecology, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Korea
3
Department of Medical Nutrition, Graduate School of East-West Medical Science, Kyung Hee University, Yongin 446-701, Korea
4
Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 130-701, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 October 2013 / Revised: 21 November 2013 / Accepted: 26 November 2013 / Published: 5 December 2013
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Abstract

Salty taste perception affects salt intake, of which excess amounts is a major public health concern. Gene polymorphisms in salty taste receptors, zinc status and their interaction may affect salty taste perception. In this study, we examined the relationships among the α-epithelial sodium channel (αENaC) A663T genotype, zinc intake, and salty taste perception including salty taste acuity and preference in healthy young adults. The αENaC A663T genotype was determined by the PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism in 207 adults. Zinc intake was examined by one 24-h recall and a two-day dietary record. Salty taste acuity and preference were determined by measuring the salty taste recognition threshold and the preferred salinity of beansprout soup, respectively. Men had significantly higher thresholds and preferences for salty taste than women did (p < 0.05). In women, the salty taste threshold was significantly lower in the highest tertile of available zinc intake than in the lowest tertile (12.2 mM and 17.6 mM, respectively, p = 0.02). Interestingly, a significant inverse association between available zinc intake and salty taste threshold was found only in women with αENaC AA homozygotes (β = −0.833, p = 0.02), and no such association was found in T663 allele carriers. The salty taste preference was not associated with the αENaC A663T genotype or available zinc intake in either sex. In conclusion, our data suggest that gene-nutrient interactions between the αENaC A663T genotype and available zinc intake play a role in determining the salty taste acuity in young women.
Keywords: salty taste acuity; αENaC A663T gene polymorphisms; zinc intake salty taste acuity; αENaC A663T gene polymorphisms; zinc intake
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Noh, H.; Paik, H.-Y.; Kim, J.; Chung, J. Salty Taste Acuity Is Affected by the Joint Action of αENaC A663T Gene Polymorphism and Available Zinc Intake in Young Women. Nutrients 2013, 5, 4950-4963.

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