Evolution of complex, discreet nutrient sensing pathways

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The current review summarizes and discusses current research on differences elicited between sugars and nonnutritive sweeteners via sugar-sensing pathways.

Recent findings

Sugars, sweeteners, and sweetening agents are all perceived as sweet tasting because of their ability to bind to the type 1 taste receptor family of sweet taste receptors in the oral cavity. The ability of a wide variety of chemical ligands to activate the sweet taste receptor highlights the importance of sweet-tasting foods during human evolution. The sweet taste receptor has been located in the gut, and differences between oral and gut sugar-sensing pathways are discussed.

Summary

Differences in the sweetness transduction cascade, and neuronal signalling may result in incretin hormone release upon activation of the sweet taste receptor from some sweeteners, but not others.

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