This is Scientific American's 60-second Science, I'm Christopher Intagliata.
If you have heart disease, your doctor might tell you, eat more vegetables. A tactic that has limited success.
"Getting people to change their diets is actually pretty hard. These are lessons I would give over and over again. And I would think, 'Why is this so hard to do?'"
Jennifer L. Smith is a nurse researcher at the University of Kentucky who now has a preliminary answer about why change is so hard: it might depend on your genes. Specifically, whether or not you're genetically predisposed to perceive bitterness—and therefore bitter veggies.
"So broccoli is definitely one of them. They tend to be cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, asparagus."
If you ever took that test in science class where you put a piece of paper on your tongue to see if it tastes bitter, you might already know your bitter status.
Smith took saliva samples from 175 adults known to be at risk of cardiovascular disease. She then did a genetic test to determine whether they had a copy of a bitter-taste gene variant. She also had them fill in a questionnaire about their eating habits.
After controlling for factors like age, gender, income, and so on, Smith found that people with a copy of the bitter-sensitive gene variant were just 40 percent as likely to report eating a lot of veggies as were the folks without the gene variant.
She's presenting the results this week at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Philadelphia.
If these findings hold up to more testing, Smith says, perhaps doctors could advise patients with this gene variant to avoid the most offensively bitter veggies but to try the others. Or perhaps certain herbs and spices might counteract the bitterness, she says.
Of course, chefs already figured this out with cheesy broccoli. But for heart patients, the better flavor might not be a favor.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American's 60-second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
如果你患有心脏病，医生可能会告诉你多吃蔬菜 。但这种策略的效果有限 。
“让人们改变饮食相当困难 。这是我一遍又一遍传授地经验 。我会思考，为什么这如此艰难？”
肯塔基大学的护理研究员詹妮弗·L·史密斯说到，她现在对改变如此艰难的原因有了初步答案：这可能取决于你的基因 。具体来说，即你的基因是否易于感知苦味，能否接受苦味蔬菜 。
“西兰花绝对是苦味蔬菜 。十字花科蔬菜基本都是苦味蔬菜，比如西兰花、花椰菜、卷心菜、球芽甘蓝、芦笋等 。”
史密斯采集了175名已知有心血管疾病风险的成年人的唾液样本 。然后她进行了基因测试，以确定他们是否有苦味基因变种 。她还让他们填写了关于饮食习惯的问卷 。
史密斯说，如果这些结果经得起更多测试，也许医生可以建议携带这种基因变种的患者避开最令人不快的苦味蔬菜，转而尝试别的种类 。她说，或者尝试可以抵消苦味的某些药草和香料 。
当然，厨师们已经用西兰花搭配奶酪解决了这个问题 。但对心脏病患者来说，更好的味道可能并没有帮助 。
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是克里斯托弗·因塔利亚塔 。
1. over and over again 一再；再三；反复；
We had to do the scene over and over again, from different angles.
2. predispose to 使易感染，使易患（某种疾病）；
Some people are genetically pr edisposed to diabetes.
3. fill in 填，填写(表格等)；
You will be asked to fill in a form with details of your birth and occupation.
4. hold up （论点、理论等）经受得住检验；
I'm not sure if the argument holds up, but it's stimulating.