Overview Of The Gustatory System

The elemental role of the gustatory system is to distinguish between food and potential toxins. Two components are required to accomplish this task: (1) a detection system of receptor cells capable of responding to the great diversity of substances in the environment that might be ingested, and (2) neuronal pathways that refer taste information to appropriate cortical structures in order to elicit pleasant or unpleasant sensations. Pleasing sensations associated with food are necessary to maintain the appetite and to initiate appropriate digestive and respiratory responses; unpleasant sensations associated with potential toxins elicit protective reflexes, such as coughing, sneezing, gagging, or vomiting. Some taste responses are inborn (e.g., a preference for sweetness and an aversion to bitter tastes); however, the gustatory system is highly modifiable by experience. Illness that occurs soon after ingestion of a particular food can greatly diminish subsequent preferences for that food. Likewise, tastes can be acquired so that some bitter tastes, such as quinine, are tolerated or even enjoyed. Whether or not a given food is appetizing can also depend on bodily needs. For example, a nutritional deficiency in salt can enhance the appetite and cause a craving for salty food.

Although the sense of taste and smell both involve direct interaction of environmental substances with receptor cells, the two systems utilize somewhat different trans-duction mechanisms. Taste receptors are classified as modified epithelial cells rather than true neurons. They occur in clustered structures called taste buds, each of which contains 50 to 100 receptor cells arranged like slices of an orange with a central opening or pore open to the surface of the tongue (Fig. 5). The taste bud also contains basal cells that are the stem cells for the production of new taste receptors. The typical life span of taste receptors is 1 to 2 weeks. Taste receptors synapse on dendrites of afferent gustatory fibers projecting into the taste bud.

Get Rid of Gallstones Naturally

Get Rid of Gallstones Naturally

One of the main home remedies that you need to follow to prevent gallstones is a healthy lifestyle. You need to maintain a healthy body weight to prevent gallstones. The following are the best home remedies that will help you to treat and prevent gallstones.

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