Previous research has shown that there may be differences in gut responses after exposure to different types of equally sweet compounds – some caloric and some calorie-free. This latest study, from researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, looked at the effects on satiety hormone secretion from gut cells after stimulation with different tastants, including sucrose (sugar), sucralose, and erythritol.
They found that the effects of non-caloric sweeteners on the release of satiety hormones were different when compared to sucrose. While both sucralose and sucrose stimulated release of satiety hormones CCK and GLP-1, erythritol did not, even at concentrations of equal sweetness.
“For centuries it was believed that especially the macronutrient composition and caloric density of the diet, triggered the release of satiety hormones,” the researchers wrote. “However, in the past few years, taste receptors that are commonly found on the tongue were also found in the GI [gastrointestinal] tract.”
The STC-1 cells the researchers used have previously been used to study the release of satiety hormones in response to macronutrients such as fats and proteins, and they wrote that it has also been established that they express taste receptors.
They said that it is now generally believed that chemical components of food can be sensed through the gut lining, and that they affect the release of satiety hormones.
“Tastants, and in particular sweet, play a role in the regulation of satiety hormone release, both in a concentration- and a time-dependent manner,” they wrote.
The authors concluded that taste is important in the regulation of the release of satiety hormones in the gut.
“There seems to be a difference in satiety hormone release after exposure to different commercial available sweeteners in concentrations resembling the same sweetness equivalent, and that the composition of the commercial sweetener product, e.g. the addition of other macronutrients to the product, might affect the activation of the taste receptors,” they wrote.
“Overall, this study shows that taste stimuli… are involved in the stimulation of satiety hormone release and, hence, may provide a novel dietary tool to control appetite and food intake.”
Source: Food Chemistry
“Different tastants and low-caloric sweeteners induce differential effects on the release of satiety hormones Intestinal hormone release affected by taste”
Authors: Maartje C.P. Geraedts, Freddy J. Troost, Wim H.M. Saris