7. Dec, 2015

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If you hate Brussels sprouts, try Gurudas' flower essence (Pegasus Products) which ‘removes hidden fears and helps you to express yourself'. Then blame your parents. Diisliking sprouts is genetic. They contain compounds called glucosinolates which, when heated, develop similar properties to a man-made substance called phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). This has the interesting quality that it can taste very bitter to some people but be virtually tasteless to others, depending on their inherited taste buds. 70% of British people can taste PTC, though this drops to 58% for indigenous Australians and rises to 98% for indigenous Americans. Women are more likely to taste the substance than men, so there may be a hormonal factor. In contrast, smokers and people addicted to coffee or tea tend not to taste PTC. The implication here is that they do not find these substances unpleasant to their palates so are unable to avoid them. One advantage of eating sprouts is an intake of sulforaphane which may have the potential to protector against neurodegenerative diseases but has the unfortunate side effect of causing odorous bowel flatulence. Sprouts additionally contain iodine which can help reduce thyroid problems. Fortunately modern sprout varieties have been bred to produce an acceptable level of bitterness. For those who still canot enjoy them, however, you now have a good biological excuse!