Apparently, having a good sense of balance influences more than just an inclination toward yoga—it’s tied to your go-to smoothie order, too. Scientists recently discovered a link between the inner ears’ ability to sense balance and the way the body detects sour taste. Bet you didn’t see that one coming! Well, neither did the researchers.
“We never in a million years expected that the molecule that we were looking for in taste cells would also be found in the vestibular [inner ear] system.”
“We never in a million years expected that the molecule that we were looking for in taste cells would also be found in the vestibular [inner ear] system,” says Emily Liman, a USC Dornsife professor of biological sciences and the study’s lead researcher.
Researchers found that the same protein in your tongue that picks up acidic notes in food is also responsible for helping give a sense of gravity. The more of this specific protein someone has, the better their balance tends to be—and the more fully they taste sour flavors.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that just because you can move into Half Moon with ease that you automatically love sour apples and tart cherries. It just means the acidic and sour notes are more intense—so you’ll likely either love sour foods or absolutely detest them. Just some, er, food for thought.