Topical Area: Medical Nutrition
Objectives : It is well known that excessive sodium intake increases the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. Taste perception contributes food choice and may be important in determining nutrient intake. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between taste perceptions for salt and blood pressure in Korean adults.
Methods : Detection and recognition thresholds to salt and salty taste preference to the salty bean sprout soup were measured in healthy adults and hypertensive patients (n=280).
Results : Recognition threshold to NaCl was significantly higher in hypertensive females than in normotensive females (0.076% and 0.054%, respectively, p< 0.05), while no such difference was found in males. Further, in females, those with higher tertiles of recognition thresholds had significantly higher levels of DBP as compared to those with lowest tertiles (p for trend < 0.05). Preference scores for salty taste were positively correlated with recognition threshold for salt in females (r=0.208, p=0.003). Similarly, liking responses to 0.63% NaCl soup and 1.25% NaCl soup were significantly correlated with recognition threshold for salt in females [r=0.165 (p=0.025) and r=0.191 (p=0.011), respectively). Interestingly, in females with the highest tertiles of recognition threshold, the liking responses to 1.25% NaCl soup were significantly higher in hypertensive patients than in normotensive controls, but no such relationship were found in females with the lower tertiles of recognition threshold (p for interaction = 0.017), suggesting the altered taste acuity for salt in hypertensive patients significantly affects the taste preference for salt. Both detection threshold and recognition threshold were significantly correlated with the salt usage behavior [r=0.415 (p=0.015) and r=0.263 (p=0.035), respectively] in hypertensive females.
Findings from the current study suggest that the taste acuity for salt is altered in hypertensive females, which may influence dietary behavior associated with sodium intake. Further study is warranted to find an effective measures to improve taste acuity in hypertensive patients.
Funding Sources : This report was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government, NRF-2017R1A2B1009697.