Dietary fats serve multiple essential roles in human health but may also contribute to acute and chronic health complications. Thus, understanding mechanisms that influence fat ingestion are critical. All sensory systems may contribute relevant cues to fat detection, with the most recent evidence supporting a role for the sense of taste. Taste detection thresholds for fat vary markedly between individuals and responses are not normally distributed. Genetics may contribute to these observations. Using crowdsourced data obtained from families visiting the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, our objective was to estimate the heritability of fat taste (oleogustus). A pedigree analysis was conducted with 106 families (643 individuals) who rated the fat taste intensity of graded concentrations of linoleic acid (LA) embedded in taste strips. The findings estimate that 19% (P = 0.043) of the variability of taste response to LA relative to baseline is heritable at the highest concentration tested.

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