Why some find anti-malarial drug quinine bitter while others don’t

August 3rd, 2010 - 2:35 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, August 3 (ANI): While some find the anti-malarial drug quinine easy to gulp down, some find it repulsive to taste - and it’s all in the genes, says a new study.

“This study teaches us that naturally occurring medicinal compounds taste differently to people based on variations in and near a bitter receptor gene,” said lead author Danielle R. Reed, PhD, a behavioural geneticist at Monell.

In the study of 1457 twins and their siblings, the researchers evaluated whether people who were more similar in their perception of quinine also shared the same pattern of DNA.

“Depending on differences in human DNA, some people find quinine to be more bitter than others do,” concluded Reed.

Reed wonders whether people who are less sensitive to the taste of some bitter medicines might get less pharmacological benefit from them.

Future studies will seek to determine whether people who perceive quinine as more bitter are also more likely to benefit from quinine’s anti-malarial actions.

The findings are published online in the journal Human Molecular Genetics. (ANI)

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