Oral Presentation Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Nutrition Society of NZ and the Nutrition Society of Australia

Bitter taste phenotype and TAS2R38 A49P genotype influence alcohol consumption in males but not females (250)

Emma L Beckett 1 2 , Konsta Duesing 2 , Lyndell Boyd 1 , Xiaowei Ng 1 , Zoe Yates 3 , Martin Veysey 4 , Mark Lucock 1
  1. Environmental & Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW, Australia
  2. Food & Nutrition Flagship, CSIRO, North Ryde, NSW, Australia
  3. Biomedical Science & Pharmacy, The University of Newcastle, Ourimbah, NSW, Australia
  4. Central Coast Health, Gosford, NSW, Australia

Background/Aims: TAS2R38 polymorphisms influence bitter taste phenotype. Both have been linked to alcohol consumption; however this has not been demonstrated in all cohorts tested. To date, this interaction has been studied in small cohorts (<100 participants) with males and females combined, with not consideration of a potential gender dimorphism. Therefore we used a larger cohort to assess the gender specificity of this relationship.
Methods: Blood was collected from patients undergoing routine colonoscopy (n=262). TAS2R38 genotype (A49P) was assessed using RFLP-PCR. Bitter taste phenotype (non-tasters vs. tasters) was determined using 6-n-propylthiouracil. Alcohol consumption was assessed using food frequency questionnaires. Frequencies of genotypes and phenotypes were compared by chi-squared tests. Pairwise comparisons were made using least squares means (adjusted for age and smoking status) and t-tests.
Results: Distribution of genotype and phenotype did not vary between genders (χ2=6.52, p=0.16 and χ2=4.67, p=0.13, respectively). Males were significantly older (60.4±1.0 vs. 64.4±1.2, p=0.009) and drank significantly more alcohol (5.0±0.8 vs. 21.1±2.6, p=0.0001). In males genotype and phenotype predicted alcohol intake, with carriers of the “P” variant and “tasters” drinking less (18.1±3.1g/day vs. 31.7±4.6g/day, p=0.01 and 19.1±2.9 vs. 34.2±5.6, p=0.02, respectively). No relationships were found in females. A significant interaction was found between gender and genotype (p=0.004) and phenotype (p=0.005).
Conclusions: A gender dimorphism exists in the relationships between TAS2R38 genotype, bitter phenotype and alcohol consumption. A significant interaction exists between gender and both genotype and phenotype when predicting alcohol intake.
Funding source: CSIRO