Taste receptors for bitter substances are not only in the mouth, but also in the lung. Here they can help in the future according to its discoverer in the treatment of asthma. The newly discovered taste cells sit on the smooth muscle of the bronchi. These muscles control the breathing through regular contraction and relaxation. In asthma patients, the muscle pulls but together so that they will restrict air flow - gasp the parties concerned and are short of breath. When inhaled substances can counteract the bitter: The taste receptors send a signal and the smooth muscles relax. The asthma patient can breathe deeply again.

Scientists working with Deepak Deshpande of the University of Maryland in Baltimore found the taste receptors in the lung t happen, as the receptors of bronchial smooth muscle in general took a close look. It is the same receptors that perceive bitter taste in the mouth. In contrast to the sensory cells in the mouth, the taste receptors of the lung do not send information to the brain. The lungs can not taste so.

Bitter Substances Effective Than Asthma Medicine

The researchers examined the function of these sensory cells in healthy humans, in mice with and without asthma and in isolated receptor cells by exposing them to various bitter substances. Substances they opened the airways more thoroughly than any known drugs, which doctors now use for the treatment of asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD, says study author Stephen Liggett results.

The selective use of bitter substances could replace the currently used drugs or support their action, "continued the researcher. The consumption of bitter foods was suitable and not to the asthma treatment. "Based on our studies, we think that certain bitter compounds to help the best that can be inhaled as an aerosol using an inhaler."