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Children naturally have distaste for bitter medicines

August 21, 2008 2:07:30 PM PDT
Getting your child to swallow a spoonful of medicine can be quite challenging. It's also an important public health problem that means longer or more serious illness for thousands of children each year.

A new study describes why a child dislikes the bad taste of medicine.

Philadelphia researchers found that children are born with a much stronger preference for sweet flavors that continues through their teen years.

The problem is humans have more taste receptors for bitterness than sweetness.

The flavor of some medications is already masked, but it's difficult to mask the truly bitter liquid medicines.

Researchers hope the study can help find ways of overcoming these unpleasant flavors.


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