Jun 13, 2012

Feline’s superior taste

Have you ever wondered why cats are not interested in chocolate cake, doughnuts or jelly beans? Recent research has found that they don’t have the taste buds for sweetness.
Researchers found that carnivores like cats have lost the gene that encodes the taste buds for sweetness. This is because their diet is primarily animal-based rather than plant-based. 
The missing gene is necessary for successful utilization of plant material.  In human beings and other omnivores, and in herbivores the missing gene codes for the taste receptors for sweets of plant origin like fruits and berries.
Because cats have a mainly animal-based protein diet the genes for the missing enzyme were not selected for and so they evolved without it.  
Other affected species included dolphins, sea lions, seals, otters, and hyenas. It appears that the ability to taste sweets has been lost in most carnivorous species. I guess they’ll never know what they’re missing.

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