16 November 2004


If you have taste buds that are super-sensitive, chances are you may not be much of an alcohol drinker.

Researchers found the extent to which people can detect bitter tastes in food and drinks appears to influence how much alcohol they drink. The study showed so-called "supertasters" who were most sensitive to bitterness drank less, on average, than "nontasters" who couldn't detect bitter tastes.

The findings indicate that genetic variations in peoples' taste buds may affect the sensations people get from drinking alcoholic beverages. Researchers say these variations, in combination with other environmental factors may determine the risk of drinking too much alcohol.


The study implies that "nontasters" --- those who cannot discern much between what is bitter taste or what isn't --- drink more alcohol or are more likely to become alcoholics than "supertasters."

I think that's logical enough.

First-time drinkers of alcohol will often describe it as bitter, and who likes bitter tastes? If alcohol drinking was solely based on impressions, I think there won't be too many booze drinkers at all. But just like smoking, reality tells us that there are a lot of other factors that promote alcohol-drinking like social pressures, emotional burdens, and even simple curiosity.

Bitter or not, once a person is hooked, everything becomes a matter of acquired-taste. Bitter won't be bitter anymore, just like inhaling toxic smoke from cigarettes won't make you cough anymore.

On a different perspective, I think we were provided with senses so that off-hand we can already tell what's good and what's bad for our bodies. Negative sensations like too much heat, pungent odors, blinding light, and bitter tastes are all stimuli communicating either danger or harm to our bodies and must be avoided.

If only Nature can talk, it might perhaps find it too absurd WHY humans continue to consume huge amounts of harmful items which give off noxious stimuli.

God or Nature has always provided us with ways to tell what to take or what NOT to take.

We just don't listen.

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