Polymorphisms in sweet taste genes (TAS1R2 and GLUT2), sweet liking, and dental caries prevalence in an adult Italian population

Antonietta Robino*, Lorenzo Bevilacqua, Nicola Pirastu, Roberta Situlin, Roberto Di Lenarda, Paolo Gasparini, Chiara Ottavia Navarra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between sweet taste genes and dental caries prevalence in a large sample of adults. In addition, the association between sweet liking and sugar intake with dental caries was investigated. Caries was measured by the decayed, missing, filled teeth (DMFT) index in 647 Caucasian subjects (285 males and 362 females, aged 18-65 years), coming from six villages in northeastern Italy. Sweet liking was assessed using a 9-point scale, and the mean of the liking given by each individual to specific sweet food and beverages was used to create a sweet liking score. Simple sugar consumption was estimated by a dietary history interview, considering both added sugars and sugar present naturally in foods. Our study confirmed that polymorphisms in TAS1R2 and GLUT2 genes are related to DMFT index. In particular, GG homozygous individuals for rs3935570 in TAS1R2 gene (p value = 0.0117) and GG homozygous individuals for rs1499821 in GLUT2 gene (p value = 0.0273) showed higher DMFT levels compared to both heterozygous and homozygous for the alternative allele. Furthermore, while the relationship sugar intake-DMFT did not achieve statistical significance (p value = 0.075), a significant association was identified between sweet liking and DMFT (p value = 0.004), independent of other variables. Our study showed that sweet taste genetic factors contribute to caries prevalence and highlighted the role of sweet liking as a predictor of caries risk. Therefore, these results may open new perspectives for individual risk identification and implementation of target preventive strategies, such as identifying high-risk patients before caries development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number34
Number of pages9
JournalGenes & Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Sweet food liking
  • Sugar intake
  • Sweet taste genes
  • DMFT
  • Dental caries prevalence
  • RISK


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