Hypertension is a major cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and overall mortality. High dietary salt intake is a major risk factor for hypertension estimated to be responsible for one in ten deaths from CVD events. Salt consumption worldwide and in the UK exceeds the recommendations. One of the main determinants of food intake, and potentially salt, is taste which may be genetically determined. Research exploring the associations between genetics, salt taste and salt intake is scarce. Better understanding of these associations would be of specific interest in younger populations as it has been shown that it is the young adults that have higher preference for salty taste and consequently salt intake. Therefore, the aim of this study is to explore the associations between genetics, salt taste perception and salt intake in young UK adults.
One hundred participants (18-35 years) will be recruited. Salt taste thresholds will be identified using the British Standards Institution sensory analysis method (BS ISO 3972:2011) and preference for salty taste by rating the pleasantness and bitterness of six tomato soups with differing salt concentrations. Salt intake will be measured using five step multiple pass 24-hour recall completed via online platform (Online surveys) for one day of the week and one weekend day. Participants will be genotyped for genetic variants in the SCNN1B and TRPV1 genes coding for ion channels expressed in taste cells.