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Taste buds question.

  1. May 7, 2007 #1
    would it be possible to deactivate the taste sense temporarily?
    maybe a medicine that robbed you of your ability to taste for a few days.

    im thinking this is a silly question seeing as the medical industry would be all over this one had it been possible.

    uses could vary... most likely it would be the new fad in weight loss or somesuch. After all... if you cant taste what you eat, you wouldnt care if it was a piece of toast or a bucket of chickenwings.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2007 #2
    The sensation of taste is not just located to the taste buds. Smell play an important role in your perception of flavor as well. That is why your sense of taste is weakened if you have a cold. Also, various food addictions are not solely based on taste.
  4. May 9, 2007 #3
    Taste buds work by receptor binding. Food particles dissolve into solution (saliva) and bind to receptors on taste bud cells. These receptors activate an action potential - a signal - in connected neurons, which relay the message to your brain. To "deactivate" taste buds, you'd probably need to find some molecule that binds to the taste bud receptors and actually stays there for a significant amount of time, but can still be removed when desired. and it would have to either somehow not activate an action potential or activate a signal of tasteless. Both would be pretty difficult, even the tasteless option, as that which is actually tasteless is probably subjective and varies per person.

    smell acts in a very similar way, with food particles that float in the air and dissolve into solution (mucus) in the nose. so ostensibly if you find a way to block up taste buds you could probably also block up smell. but it's a pretty tall order overall.
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