Sensation of dietary nutrients by gut taste receptors and its mechanisms

Fei Xie, Jiakun Shen, Tianyi Liu, Min Zhou, Lee J. Johnston, Jingwen Zhao, Hongfu Zhang, Xi Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nutrients sensing is crucial for fundamental metabolism and physiological functions, and it is also an essential component for maintaining body homeostasis. Traditionally, basic taste receptors exist in oral cavity to sense sour, sweet, bitter, umami, salty and et al. Recent studies indicate that gut can sense the composition of nutrients by activating relevant taste receptors, thereby exerting specific direct or indirect effects. Gut taste receptors, also named as intestinal nutrition receptors, including at least bitter, sweet and umami receptors, have been considered to be activated by certain nutrients and participate in important intestinal physiological activities such as eating behavior, intestinal motility, nutrient absorption and metabolism. Additionally, gut taste receptors can regulate appetite and body weight, as well as maintain homeostasis via targeting hormone secretion or regulating the gut microbiota. On the other hand, malfunction of gut taste receptors may lead to digestive disorders, and then result in obesity, type 2 diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases. At present, researchers have confirmed that the brain-gut axis may play indispensable roles in these diseases via the secretion of brain-gut peptides, but the mechanism is still not clear. In this review, we summarize the current observation of knowledge in gut taste systems in order to shed light on revealing their important nutritional functions and promoting clinical implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5594-5607
Number of pages14
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Gut taste receptors
  • brain-gut axis
  • dietary nutrients
  • sensation
  • signal pathways

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Review
  • Journal Article


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