Lungs Can Feel Bitter

Not only tongue can feel the bitter, lungs turned out to also have receptors to sense it. Hidden abilities that discovered accidentally proved useful for people with asthma.

Like the bitter taste receptors in the mouth was also found in smooth muscle tissue in the lungs and airways along. Receptor provides certain reactions when they inhale toxic compounds which generally tastes bitter.

In people with asthma, the reaction will cause chest tightness and coughing. Symptoms that appear to be cues for a person with asthma to get away from that environment before the asthma attack actually occurs.

Quoted from the NY Times, Monday (26/10/2010), the existence fine hairs in receptor, or cilia on airway discovered accidentally by researchers at the University of Maryland. The findings were published online in the journal Nature Medicine.

The existence of an asthmatic airway response to bitter taste encourages researchers to conduct experiments. By modifying certain compounds that taste bitter, the researchers succeeded in stimulating the respiratory tract for widened as inhale.

“Based on this research, we thought the best remedy for asthma is a compound that tastes bitter. If given via inhalation, the effect will be faster,” said Stephen B. Liggett, one of the professors involved in the study.

Allegations that the airways have a taste actually been advanced by Michael J Wels from the University of Iowa, in his research last year. But the latest findings this time ensuring that there are receptors that can recognize only the bitter taste.