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Behav. Sci. 2018, 8(10), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8100094

Basal Levels of Salivary Alpha-Amylase Are Associated with Preference for Foods High in Sugar and Anthropometric Markers of Cardiovascular Risk

1
Institute of Psychobiology, Department of Neurobehavioral Genetics, University of Trier, 54290 Trier, Germany
2
Department of Psychobiology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University Jaume I, 12071 Castellon, Spain
3
Department of Psychobiology and Methodology on Behavioral Sciences, Faculty of Psychology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcón, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 8 October 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 16 October 2018
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Abstract

Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) influences the perception of taste and texture, features both relevant in acquiring food liking and, with time, food preference. However, no studies have yet investigated the relationship between basal activity levels of sAA and food preference. We collected saliva from 57 volunteers (63% women) who we assessed in terms of their preference for different food items. These items were grouped into four categories according to their nutritional properties: high in starch, high in sugar, high glycaemic index, and high glycaemic load. Anthropometric markers of cardiovascular risk were also calculated. Our findings suggest that sAA influences food preference and body composition in women. Regression analysis showed that basal sAA activity is inversely associated with subjective but not self-reported behavioural preference for foods high in sugar. Additionally, sAA and subjective preference are associated with anthropometric markers of cardiovascular risk. We believe that this pilot study points to this enzyme as an interesting candidate to consider among the physiological factors that modulate eating behaviour. View Full-Text
Keywords: salivary alpha-amylase; food preference; eating behaviour; body composition; glycaemic index; carbohydrates salivary alpha-amylase; food preference; eating behaviour; body composition; glycaemic index; carbohydrates
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Tarragon, E.; Stein, J.; Meyer, J. Basal Levels of Salivary Alpha-Amylase Are Associated with Preference for Foods High in Sugar and Anthropometric Markers of Cardiovascular Risk. Behav. Sci. 2018, 8, 94.

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