The bitter conundrum: poison or medicine?

18 Dec 2018

Associate Professor Eugeni Roura’s research focuses on a flavour that is often unappreciated and misunderstood: bitter. Leading a research team at The University of Queensland investigating the human body’s relationship with bitter compounds, Eugeni studies the function of bitter-sensing cells present in not only the tongue, but also in the intestines and respiratory system.

Unlocking some of the secrets and surprising health benefits of our favourite bitter foods, Eugeni’s talk will leave you feeling less guilty about your indulgence in coffee and dark chocolate! Eugeni is a nutritional chemosensing scientist. After obtaining a degree in Veterinary Sciences at The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Eugeni completed a PhD in digestive physiology and nutrition. He joined The University of Queensland in 2010, where he currently leads a research team focusing on uncovering the mechanisms involved in sensing dietary nutrients and their involvement in appetite modulation. Recently discovering new functions of bitter- tastinge compounds, Eugeni and his team have been focusing on the understanding of the bitter taste system using the pig as a model, studying the function of bitter-sensing cells that are present not only in the tongue but also in the gut epithelia, helping orchestrate the hunger-satiety cycle. Additionally, bitter taste sensory cells have been found in the respiratory system, helping activate the immune response against pathogens, and in the cardiovascular system, where they seem to be capable of lowering blood pressure. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

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