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Marta Yanina Pepino

Marta Yanina Pepino

PhD

About

88
Publications
21,762
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4,128
Citations
Additional affiliations
October 2008 - present
Washington University in St. Louis
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (88)
Article
In March 2020, the Global Consortium of Chemosensory Research (GCCR) was founded by chemosensory researchers to address then emerging reports of unusual smell and taste dysfunction arising from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Over the next year, the GCCR used a highly collaborative model, along with contemporary Open Science practices, to produce multiple...
Article
Survivors of head and neck squamous cell cancers (HNSCC) frequently complain of taste dysfunction long after radiation therapy is completed, which contradicts findings from most sensory evaluation studies, which predict dysfunction should resolve few months after treatment. Therefore, it remains unclear whether taste and smell function fully recove...
Article
In a preregistered, cross-sectional study, we investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19 using a crowdsourced questionnaire in 23 languages to assess symptoms in individuals self-reporting recent respiratory illness. We quantified changes in chemosensory abilities during the course of the respiratory illness using 0–100...
Article
Full-text available
Bariatric surgery is the most effective long-term treatment for severe obesity and related comorbidities. Although patients who underwent bariatric surgery report changes of taste and smell perception, results from sensory studies are discrepant and limited. Here, we assessed taste and smell functions in 51 patients before, one month, and six month...
Chapter
Metabolic surgeries are the most effective weight loss treatment for severe obesity and its related comorbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. These surgical procedures promote many physiological and ingestive behavioral changes that are not fully understood. In particular, preference for unhealthy foods after metabolic surgeries is reduced b...
Article
Full-text available
In a preregistered, cross-sectional study we investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19 using a crowdsourced questionnaire in 23 languages to assess symptoms in individuals self-reporting recent respiratory illness. We quantified changes in chemosensory abilities during the course of the respiratory illness using 0-100...
Article
Full-text available
In November 2019, the NIH held the “Sensory Nutrition and Disease” workshop to challenge multidisciplinary researchers working at the interface of sensory science, food science, psychology, neuroscience, nutrition, and health sciences to explore how chemosensation influences dietary choice and health. This report summarizes deliberations of the wor...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Wolfram syndrome is a rare genetic disease characterized by insulin-dependent diabetes, optic nerve atrophy, sensorineural hearing loss and neurodegeneration. Although olfactory dysfunction, a classical clinical marker of neurodegenerative processes, has been reported in Wolfram syndrome, its use as a clinical marker in Wolfram is limi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Now published in Chemical Senses doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjaa081. Background: COVID-19 has heterogeneous manifestations, though one of the most common symptoms is a sudden loss of smell (anosmia or hyposmia). We investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19. Methods: This preregistered, cross-sectional study used a crowdsou...
Article
Background: COVID-19 has heterogeneous manifestations, though one of the most common symptoms is a sudden loss of smell (anosmia or hyposmia). We investigated whether olfactory loss is a reliable predictor of COVID-19. Methods: This preregistered, cross-sectional study used a crowdsourced questionnaire in 23 languages to assess symptoms in individu...
Article
Full-text available
To address gaps in knowledge, our objectives were to (1) to determine whether there are age-related changes in sweet taste detection thresholds, as has been observed for sweet taste preferences, and (2) determine whether detection thresholds and taste preferences were significantly related to each other from childhood to adulthood. We combined data...
Article
Full-text available
Recent anecdotal and scientific reports have provided evidence of a link between COVID-19 and chemosensory impairments such as anosmia. However, these reports have downplayed or failed to distinguish potential effects on taste, ignored chemesthesis, and generally lacked quantitative measurements. Here, we report the development, implementation and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Now published in Chemical Senses doi: 10.1093/chemse/bjaa041. Recent anecdotal and scientific reports have provided evidence of a link between COVID-19 and chemosensory impairments such as anosmia. However, these reports have downplayed or failed to distinguish potential effects on taste, ignored chemesthesis, generally lacked quantitative measure...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) and sleeve gastrectomy (SG), the most common bariatric surgeries performed worldwide, increase the risk to develop an alcohol use disorder. This might be due, in part, to surgery-related changes in alcohol pharmacokinetics. Another risk factor, unexplored within this population, is having a reduced subje...
Preprint
Full-text available
BACKGROUND : Wolfram syndrome is a rare genetic disease characterized by insulin-dependent diabetes, optic nerve atrophy, sensorineural hearing loss and neurodegeneration. Although olfactory dysfunction, a classical clinical marker of neurodegenerative processes, has been reported in Wolfram syndrome, its use as a clinical marker in Wolfram is limi...
Article
Full-text available
Recent anecdotal and scientific reports have provided evidence of a link between COVID-19 and chemosensory impairments such as anosmia. However, these reports have downplayed or failed to distinguish potential effects on taste, ignored chemesthesis, and generally lacked quantitative measurements. Here, we report the development, implementation and...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we tested the hypothesis that sucralose differentially affects metabolic responses to labeled oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) in participants with normal weight and obesity. Participants (10 with normal weight and 11 with obesity) without diabetes underwent three dual-tracer OGTTs preceded, in a randomized order, by consuming sucralose o...
Preprint
BACKGROUND: Wolfram syndrome is a rare genetic disease characterized by insulin-dependent diabetes, optic nerve atrophy, sensorineural hearing loss and neurodegeneration. Although olfactory dysfunction, a classical clinical marker of neurodegenerative processes, has been reported in Wolfram syndrome, its use as a clinical marker in Wolfram is limit...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of Review This review synthesized the literature on predictors and mechanisms of post-bariatric alcohol problems, in order to guide future research on prevention and treatment targets. Recent Findings Consistent evidence suggests an elevated risk of developing problems with alcohol following bariatric surgery. While there is a paucity of e...
Article
Bariatric surgery is the most effective treatment for severe obesity and its related comorbidities. Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass (RYGB) and Sleeve Gastrectomy (SG) are currently the most popular weight-loss surgeries used worldwide. Following these surgeries, many patients self-report changes in taste perception and decreased preference for unhealthy f...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Dietary inflammatory potential could impact the presence and severity of chronic adverse treatment effects among patients with head and neck cancer. The objective of this study was to determine whether pretreatment dietary patterns are associated with nutrition impact symptoms (NIS) as self-reported 1 year after diagnosis. Methods: T...
Article
This article provides a summary of the topics discussed at the symposium titled Bariatric Surgery and Its Effects on Taste and Food Selection which was held at the Fortieth Annual Meeting of the Association for Chemoreception Sciences. Bariatric surgery such as Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is currently one of the most effective treatments availa...
Article
Background: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB) increases the rate of alcohol absorption so that peak blood alcohol concentration is 2-fold higher after surgery compared with concentrations reached after consuming the same amount presurgery. Because high doses of alcohol can lead to hypoglycemia, patients may be at increased risk of developing...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: It is estimated that more than 90% of head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors who underwent chemoradiotherapy experience one or more nutrition impact symptoms (NIS) in the months or years thereafter. Despite the high prevalence, there is limited research addressing long-term impact of NIS on outcomes such as nutrition and quality of life in...
Article
Full-text available
Image-guided surgery can enhance cancer treatment by decreasing, and ideally eliminating, positive tumor margins and iatrogenic damage to healthy tissue. Current state-of-the-art near-infrared fluorescence imaging systems are bulky and costly, lack sensitivity under surgical illumination, and lack co-registration accuracy between multimodal images....
Article
Full-text available
Ninety percent of head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors experience disease and treatment related symptoms. Diet has the potential to reduce inflammation, modulate epigenetic changes and affect biological processes involved in the pathogenesis of symptoms. The objective of this study was to determine if pre-treatment dietary patterns are associated w...
Article
Full-text available
The goal of this study was to test the hypothesis that weight loss induced by Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) has greater effects on taste perception and eating behavior than comparable weight loss induced by sleeve gastrectomy (SG). We evaluated the following outcomes in 31 subjects both before and after ~20% weight loss induced by RYGB (n = 23) o...
Article
Background While it is well established that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) causes a rapid and heightened peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC), results from previous studies on the effects of sleeve gastrectomy (SG) on alcohol pharmacokinetics are conflicting. Data from two studies found SG did not affect BAC, whereas another study found SG caus...
Article
Deeper understanding of signaling mechanisms underlying bitterness perception in people is essential for designing novel and effective bitter blockers, which could enhance nutrition and compliance with orally administered bitter-tasting drugs. Here we show that variability in a human odorant-binding protein gene, OBPIIa, associates with individual...
Article
Full-text available
Alterations in dopaminergic circuitry play a critical role in food reward and may contribute to susceptibility to obesity. Ingestion of sweets releases dopamine in striatum, and both sweet preferences and striatal D2 receptors (D2R) decline with age and may be altered in obesity. Understanding the relationships between these variables and the impac...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluates the effect of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass on the pharmacokinetics and subjective effects of ingested alcohol, using arterialized blood samples and a validated questionnaire. Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) is the most common bariatric surgical procedure performed in the world.¹ Although RYGB surgery causes a marked reduction in f...
Article
Full-text available
Until recently, the general belief was that non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) were healthy sugar substitutes because they provide sweet taste without calories or glycemic effects. However, data from several epidemiological studies have found that consumption of NNS, mainly in diet sodas, is associated with increased risk to develop obesity, metabolic...
Article
Full-text available
PET studies have provided mixed evidence regarding central D2/D3 dopamine receptor binding and its relationship with obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI). Other aspects of obesity may be more tightly coupled to the dopaminergic system. We characterized obesity-associated behaviors and determined if these related to central D2 receptor (D2R)...
Article
Objective To test the hypotheses that bariatric surgery-induced weight loss: induces remission of food addiction (FA), and normalizes other eating behaviors associated with FA.Methods Forty-four obese subjects (BMI= 48 ± 8 kg/m2) were studied before and after ∼20% weight loss induced by bariatric surgery (25 Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, 11 laparoscopi...
Article
Full-text available
CD36 (cluster of differentiation 36) is a scavenger receptor that functions in high-affinity tissue uptake of long-chain fatty acids (FAs) and contributes under excessive fat supply to lipid accumulation and metabolic dysfunction. This review describes recent evidence regarding the CD36 FA binding site and a potential mechanism for FA transfer. It...
Article
Full-text available
We appreciate the insightful comments by Grotz and Jokinen (1) regarding our study (2) that found that ingesting sucralose affects the metabolic response to subsequent glucose ingestion. Grotz and Jokinen imply that the greater increase in peak plasma glucose concentration during the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) after sucralose than water in...
Article
Objective Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) surgery causes greater weight loss than laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB). We tested the hypothesis that RYGB has weight loss-independent effects on taste perception which influence eating behavior and contribute to the greater weight loss. Design and Methods Subjects were studied before and a...
Article
Objective Smoking and obesity are independently associated with high consumption of high-fat foods in women. We tested whether the co-occurrence of smoking and obesity associates with reduced oral fat perception. Design and Methods Four groups of women (14 obese smokers, 11 obese never-smokers, 10 normal-weight smokers, 12 normal-weight never-smok...
Article
Full-text available
OBJECTIVE Nonnutritive sweeteners (NNS), such as sucralose, have been reported to have metabolic effects in animal models. However, the relevance of these findings to human subjects is not clear. We evaluated the acute effects of sucralose ingestion on the metabolic response to an oral glucose load in obese subjects.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Seve...
Article
Full-text available
CD36 (cluster of differentiation 36) is a scavenger receptor that functions in high-affinity tissue uptake of long-chain fatty acids (FAs) and contributes under excessive fat supply to lipid accumulation and metabolic dysfunction. This review describes recent evidence regarding the CD36 FA binding site and a potential mechanism for FA transfer. It...
Article
In this study, we used a validated psychophysical tool, the hedonic general magnitude scale (hedonic gLMS), to examine whether hedonic responsivity after repetitive tasting of a sweet-tasting liquid follows a habituation pattern that is independent of adaptation to the sweet taste at the orosensory level, and whether the pattern of response is diff...
Article
Full-text available
The precise orosensory inputs engaged for dietary lipids detection in humans are unknown. We evaluated whether a common single nucleotide polymorphism (rs1761667) in the CD36 gene that reduces CD36 expression and the addition of orlistat, a lipase inhibitor, to reduce FA release from triacylglycerols (TGs), the main component of dietary fats, would...
Article
To review the recent work on potential mechanisms underlying a paradoxical positive association between the consumption of non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS) and weight gain. Several potential mechanisms, not mutually exclusive, are hypothesized. First, by dissociating sweetness from calories, NNS could interfere with physiological responses that contr...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to define the effects of individual polymorphisms within the haplotypes of the TAS2R38 taste receptor gene on human bitter taste perception. A racially and ethnically diverse sample of children and adults (N = 980) was phenotyped for thresholds of 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and genotyped for 3 polymorphisms of the TAS...
Article
The sense of taste is critical for human life. It informs the body about the quality of food that will be potentially ingested and stimulates metabolic processes that prepare the alimentary canal for digestion. Steady progress is being made towards understanding the early biochemical and molecular events underlying taste transduction (for a review,...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of TAS2R38 haplotypes and age on human bitter taste perception. Children (3 to 10 yrs), adolescents (11 to 19 yrs) and adults (mostly mothers, 20 to 55 yrs (N = 980) were measured for bitter taste thresholds for 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and genotyped for three polymorphisms of the AS2R38 ge...
Article
The goal of this study was to determine whether obese women exhibit altered umami and sweet taste perception compared to normal-weight women. A total of 57 subjects (23 obese and 34 normal weight) participated in a 2-day study separated by 1 week. Half of the women in each group were evaluated using monosodium glutamate (MSG; prototypical umami sti...
Article
Full-text available
Many motivated new mothers fail to reach public health goals for breastfeeding, highlighting the need to identify risk factors. Because having a family history of alcoholism is associated with blunted prolactin responses to an alcohol challenge in nonlactating individuals, this study aimed to identify associations in family history of alcoholism, p...
Article
Prior research revealed that breast stimulation altered the way the lactating body handles alcohol. Its effects depended upon when it occurred relative to drinking. The goal of the present study was to determine whether breast pumping works independently of the physiological and metabolic changes that accompany lactation. To this end, we tested 12...
Article
To determine whether depression and family history of alcoholism are associated with heightened sweet preferences in children, before they have experienced alcohol or tobacco and at a time during the life-span when sweets are particularly salient. Design Between- and within-subject experimental study. Children, 5-12 years old (n = 300), formed four...
Article
The present study assessed food cravings in a cohort of 229 women who differed in smoking history (i.e., never smoker, former smoker, and current smoker) and body weight (i.e., normal weight, overweight, and obese). Each subject completed the Food Craving Inventory (FCI), which measures cravings for sweets, high fats, carbohydrates/starches, and fa...
Article
Contrary to the popular lore that encourages women to drink alcohol as an aid to lactation, we previously showed that alcohol consumption disrupted lactational performance and the hormonal milieu of the lactating mother in the short term. Thirteen lactating women participated in a 4-session, double-blind, 2 x 2 within-subject study to test several...
Article
Full-text available
This study tested two hypotheses. First, that breast pumping contributes to the previously observed decrease in ethanol bioavailability in lactating women. Second, that the effects of breast pumping are more pronounced when ethanol is consumed after a meal. The within-subject factor was test condition (fed or fasted) and the between-subject factor...
Article
Despite popular beliefs that smoking affects the sensitivity and liking of sweet-tasting foods and beverages, few psychophysical studies have examined this phenomenon and none have taken into account the individual's family history of alcoholism (FH+), a predictor of heightened sweet preferences. A within- and between-subjects study was conducted t...
Article
Given the physiological adaptations of the digestive system during lactation, the present study tested the hypothesis that lactation alters alcohol pharmacokinetics. Lactating women who were exclusively breastfeeding a 2- to 5-month-old infant and 2 control groups of nonlactating women were studied. The first control group consisted of women who we...
Article
The present study was designed to determine the short-term effects of alcohol consumption on hormonal responses and mood states in nulliparous women who have regular menstrual cycles. To this aim, we conducted a within-subjects design study in which eight women consumed a 0.4-g/kg dose of alcohol in orange juice during one test session (alcohol con...
Article
The present study tested the hypothesis that the efficacy of sucrose in reducing pain during the Cold Pressor Test (CPT) was related to its hedonic value. To this aim, we determined the most preferred level of sucrose and the analgesic properties of 24% w/v sucrose during the CPT in 242, 5- to 10-year-old children and their mothers. Outcome measure...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support the claim that alcohol is a galactagogue, lactating women have been advised to drink alcohol as an aid to lactation for centuries. To test the hypothesis that alcohol consumption affects the hormonal response in lactating women, we conducted a within-subjects design study in which 17 women consumed...
Article
Full-text available
Flavor is the primary dimension by which young children determine food acceptance. However, children are not merely miniature adults because sensory systems mature postnatally and their responses to certain tastes differ markedly from adults. Among these differences are heightened preferences for sweet-tasting and greater rejection of bitter-tastin...
Article
Full-text available
Demographics and anthropometry Black mothers were significantly younger (33.6 ± 0.8 versus 38.4 ± 0.7 years) and more likely to be single (71% versus 2%), with lower household incomes and fewer years of education (13.4 ± 0.2 versus 14.8 ± 0.3 years) when compared to White mothers (all Ps < 0.001). There were significant effects of race/ethnicity on...
Article
Full-text available
To explore the types of advice that women in Argentina received from health professionals, family members, and friends about drinking alcoholic beverages and about alcohol usage during pregnancy and lactation. In December 2001 and December 2002, structured interviews were conducted with a total of 167 women who were then breast-feeding or who had r...
Article
Background: Preweanling rats detect ethanol (175 mg/100 ml) in maternal milk when the dam is moderately intoxicated. Repeated experiences with the intoxicated dam facilitate subsequent recognition of ethanol's chemosensory attributes and promote ethanol-related memories with a negative hedonic content. This memory has been attributed to the infant...
Article
Background: Fetuses learn about ethanol odor when the drug is present in the amniotic fluid. Prenatal learning comprising ethanol's chemosensory cues also suggests an acquired association between ethanol's chemosensory and postabsorptive properties. Ethanol-related thermal disruptions have been implicated as a significant component of the drug's u...