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Taste of Longevity: Long Life is Sweet

chocolatesFascinating new research:

“Bitter tastes could have negative effects on lifespan, sweet tastes had positive effects,” reports Science Daily.  At least, in fruit flies.

Michael Waterson, a Ph.D graduate student in U-M’s Cellular and Molecular Biology Program, explains: “Findings help us better understand the influence of sensory signals, which we now know not only tune an organism into its environment but also cause substantial changes in physiology that affect overall health and longevity. We need further studies to help us apply this knowledge to health in humans potentially through tailored diets favoring certain tastes or even pharmaceutical compounds that target taste inputs without diet alterations.”

Here’s how I make sense of these intriguing findings.  When life tastes good, it seems, the body positions itself for a longer existence.  When life tastes bitter, the body, it seems, fails to thrive.  Conclusion: a sweeter life makes for a longer life, whereas a life of bitterness (and sensory deprivation) might not last as long.

I am sure you heard the expression “life is sweet.”  Perhaps there is a correction in order: “Long life is sweet.”

A take-home message: awaken your senses!

Also makes me wonder, in the spirit of harm reduction, if a sweeter-tasting cigarette would be less dangerous, less life-shortening than a comparable one that is not as palatable.

ps: Coincidentally, the other day, while putzing around in my yard, I spotted an unfamiliar plant – a long, sturdy stalk.  I yanked it out of the ground, for no good reason, and, for no better reason, tasted the sap.  Bitter as hell!  “This kind of reckless experimentation could have shortened my life,” I thought to myself and went inside to get another cup of coffee, which I decided to take with cream and sugar, instead of the usual packet of sweetener.

Source: Science Daily: Taste Test: Could Sense of Taste Affect Length of Life?

Chocolates image available from Shutterstock.

Taste of Longevity: Long Life is Sweet


Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Pavel Somov, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice and the author of 7 mindfulness-based self-help books. Several of his books have been translated into Chinese, Dutch & Portuguese. Somov is on the Advisory Board for the Mindfulness Project (London, UK). Somov has conducted numerous workshops on mindfulness-related topics and appeared on a number of radio programs. Somov's book website is www.pavelsomov.com and his practice website is www.drsomov.com

Marla Somova, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the co-author of "Smoke Free Smoke Break" (2011).


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APA Reference
Somov, P. (2014). Taste of Longevity: Long Life is Sweet. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 20, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindful-living/2014/05/taste-of-longevity-long-life-is-sweet/

 

Last updated: 22 May 2014
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