Move over, sweet tooth: Introducing the salt tooth


Maybe that’s why you can never have just one potato chip. If you find yourself devouring the whole bag, you may have a salt tooth.

High salt intake is a known risk factor for high blood pressure and stroke, so it’s troubling that people with high blood pressure often prefer saltier foods.

Are your genes to blame?

(FOX News)

You’ve heard of a sweet tooth, but what about a salt tooth? Some people carry a gene that may give them more of a taste for salt, a new study finds.

People in the study who had a certain variation of a gene called TAS2R48 were more likely to eat too much sodium than those who did not have this variant, according to the study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions meeting in New Orleans.

“By identifying which gene variant a person has, we may be able to help them make better food choices through education that is personally tailored to them,” Jennifer Smith, a Ph.D. student in nursing at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and the lead author of the study, said in a statement. However, more research is needed to fully understand how people’s genes impact how much sodium they eat, the researchers noted.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that people limit the sodium in their diet to 2,300 milligrams per day. Too much sodium can raise a person’s risk for high blood pressure, the AHA says.

Those in the study how had the gene variation were nearly twice as likely to exceed the limit of 2,300 mg, compared with the people who didn’t have this variation, the researchers found.