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 that 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 (124)
  • Ethangh-Par
    6/03/2015 - 08:04 a.m.

    We have taste buds all over our body. I thought that was pretty freaky and interesting! Taste buds are going to help diabetes exc .

  • Ethangh-Par
    6/03/2015 - 08:04 a.m.

    We have taste buds all over our body. I thought that was pretty freaky and interesting! Taste buds are going to help diabetes exc .

  • Amelia-Par
    6/03/2015 - 08:24 a.m.

    Cool but this is not kid stuff to learn

  • Estella-Par
    6/03/2015 - 08:30 a.m.

    In this story, I found out that you have taste buds all over your body. In your mouth, stomach and even lungs! I thought about the question and I think we know where are taste buds are because we can taste with them. In our stomach we can't taste but maybe we know because people did surgery and found out! That is my answer. I like science and health so this story was very interesting for me.

  • SeanK-3
    6/03/2015 - 11:23 a.m.

    we have taste bugs in our stomachsr stomachs. Not only that but we have them in our lives intestines and even sperm they get it from the nutrients from food. I think this is really cool and I would like to learn more about this subject.

  • MauricioMBlue
    6/03/2015 - 11:27 a.m.

    It's pretty amazing that there is taste buds all over our body! Obviously we don't just have taste buds in our mouth, its not like you taste it in your mouth then it just digests in your stomach, our stomachs read to the taste that's already been through our mouths. :)

  • MauricioMBlue
    6/03/2015 - 11:27 a.m.

    It's pretty amazing that there is taste buds all over our body! Obviously we don't just have taste buds in our mouth, its not like you taste it in your mouth then it just digests in your stomach, our stomachs read to the taste that's already been through our mouths. :)

  • CT14
    6/03/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    This is crazy. Who would have thought that we'd have taste buds in out stomachs. Everyone knew abut their taste buds on their tongue, but inside is a whole different story.

  • pp2000boa
    6/03/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    I wonder what's the use of taste buds in the digestive system if the buds are for detecting taste. Maybe the buds have other purposes, like detecting what enters our stomachs before drowning it in stomach acid.

  • am2000peanut
    6/03/2015 - 01:06 p.m.

    We can see our taste buds on our stomach. And I believe that we taste buds in our stomach that doesn't make any since to me.

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