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Factors Influencing the Phenotypic Characterization of the Oral Marker, PROP

Department of Food Science, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, Cagliari 09042, Italy
Department of Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, University of Trieste, Trieste 34137, Italy
College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2017, 9(12), 1275;
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 20 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
In the last several decades, the genetic ability to taste the bitter compound, 6-n-propyltiouracil (PROP) has attracted considerable attention as a model for understanding individual differences in taste perception, and as an oral marker for food preferences and eating behavior that ultimately impacts nutritional status and health. However, some studies do not support this role. This review describes common factors that can influence the characterization of this phenotype including: (1) changes in taste sensitivity with increasing age; (2) gender differences in taste perception; and (3) effects of smoking and obesity. We suggest that attention to these factors during PROP screening could strengthen the associations between this phenotype and a variety of health outcomes ranging from variation in body composition to oral health and cancer risk. View Full-Text
Keywords: PROP tasting; psychophysical approach; age; gender; weight status PROP tasting; psychophysical approach; age; gender; weight status
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Tepper, B.J.; Melis, M.; Koelliker, Y.; Gasparini, P.; Ahijevych, K.L.; Tomassini Barbarossa, I. Factors Influencing the Phenotypic Characterization of the Oral Marker, PROP. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1275.

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