Is it true we have taste buds in our stomachs? (Thinkstock)
Is it true we have taste buds in our stomachs?
Lexile

You asked us, is it true that we have taste buds in our stomachs?

Not only do we have taste receptors on our tongues and in our tummies, they're showing up in our intestines and lungs.

But let's go back a few steps. There are thousands of taste buds in our mouths. Each bud has 50 to 150 cells. They sense chemicals. Eat something sweet or salty, bitter, sour or full of umami meaty goodness and these receptor cells send signals to our brain. They tell us what we're tasting.

A similar chemical detection system is at play in other parts of our body. Receptors are on the lookout for specific tastes, like bitter or sweet. We don't yet have a good understanding of what most of these taste receptors do. Or how they work. But we're getting closer.

And unlocking these mysteries could lead to new treatments for conditions like diabetes, asthma and even infertility. That sounds pretty sweet to my ears.

For more stories like this, check us out every day at Smithsonian.com.

Critical thinking challenge: How do we know where our taste buds are?


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COMMENTS (3)
  • caragh5-Bla
    6/05/2015 - 11:19 a.m.

    I really wonder if we do have taste buds in our stomachs? ! I never knew we had that many taste buds in our mouths! Also that would be amazing if somebody found treatments for asthma and diabetes!

  • emma2-Bla
    6/05/2015 - 11:32 a.m.

    I really like this story because i never new that we had taste buds in our lungs and in our stumachs and i didn't now that there were 50 to 150.

  • John0724-YYCA
    6/10/2015 - 06:50 p.m.

    I never knew that taste buds could do all these things because I thought taste buds were just buds in your mouth that makes you making the food wet but it was for tasting so I am wrong. I think that taste buds are very useful because if we didn't have taste buds then we could never taste the food that we are eating but I really don't know why we have taste buds in our stomach, lungs, and intestines because I think that the taste buds should be only on the mouths.

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