The Wonder of Genetic Variation: A Single Gene Mutation Makes Cilantro Taste Like Soap
Modern science has the capacity to study many things and to unveil some mysteries of life. Among these studies are those regarding taste preference. One spice which commonly causes people to have a very strong reaction is cilantro. Studies have been done to understand “why do some people hate cilantro?”
It is just one of those things that you either love it or you hate it. What most cilantro lovers do not always understand is that cilantro carries a taste that is undetectable to a majority of the population while approximately 4-14% of the people experience a soapy taste from cilantro. It makes you wonder how such a strange phenomenon can be possible?
DNA is made up of molecules called nucleotides. There are four nucleotides in DNA, and their sequence dictates the sending out of biological messages. These biological messages shape every aspect of an organism during its growth, periods of sustainment, and decay. Every aspect of our being including the operation of our senses is governed by variations in the DNA sequence.
So, why does cilantro taste like soap to some? It comes down to a tiny difference in the order of our DNA sequencing. If just one specific nucleotide out of about 3 billion is swapped out for another, cilantro can take on an entirely new flavor. This is called a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).
Each cell nucleus contains two pairs of 23 chromosomes that are made of DNA that has been tightly coiled around proteins called histones. This cilantro-related genetic variation takes place within the 11th chromosome where a group of olfactory or smell receptor genes can be found. Out of the eight olfactory receptors found here, the OR6A2 receptor gene would have the most influence over cilantro’s flavor.
OR6A2 is activated by odorant aldehydes. Cilantro contains these aromatic aldehyde compounds. The sense of both taste and smell have long been known to influence each other with ease. As such, the individuals that are more sensitive to these aromatic compounds will likely find that cilantro tastes like soap.
Do You Think Cilantro Tastes Like Soap?
It’s not a huge problem if a person thinks cilantro tastes like soap. Most people will find a way to get their nutrients and find ways to avoid it. What is truly important here is an understanding of what makes cilantro taste like soap.
One tiny little deviation in the sequencing of our genetic code creates such a unique trait. The cause of this is so minuscule that it is hard to imagine. One nucleotide, in a chain of 3 billion, can completely alter the way we perceive a part of the world.
Your DNA is more than just inert blueprints. DNA helps shape who you are and how you develop. If the discovery of a taste variant is interesting, just imagine the implications that DNA can have on health and fitness.
At MelixGX™, we embrace the power of genetics. Using the knowledge contained within your DNA, we can easily determine the best nutrition, exercise, and treatment methods for your body. All humans contain DNA that is 99.5% alike; however, we hone in on the 0.5% that makes you unique.
We offer unique DNA tests to improve quality of life. Our skilled geneticists create a precise breakdown of your genes in order to uncover how they influence your life experience. With MelixFit™ you receive cutting-edge insight into the fitness regimen and nutrition your body needs. MelixMJ™ helps match you up with the perfect cannabis strain to help assist with a wide variety of challenges that people face every day. Either way, an understanding of your genetics will help you reach your maximum potential.
Whether you’re on a journey simply for self-discovery or for maximal health, it starts with Melix.