Fans of Rocky Mountain Oysters will tell you that testicles are tasty. But did you know that testicles also taste?
Most mammals, including humans, have taste receptors all over their bodies, not just the tongue. You’ve got taste receptors in your stomach and intestines. That might not be so surprising — after all, those are all places food ultimately goes. But that’s not all… you’ve also got them in your lungs, your brain and your testicles.
Yep, your balls have two types of taste sensors, one type for sweet tastes, and the other for umami, the savory taste found in foods like soy sauce, mushrooms or cured meats.
Wait, what? Why?
Sadly, scientists haven’t figured that out yet. But we do know is these taste receptors are important to fertility. Scientists at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia and the neuroscience department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City were able to block each of these receptors. When either the sweet receptors or the umami receptors were blocked in mice had sluggish, malformed sperm. Blocking both types of receptor made the mice totally sterile.
Even though we don’t know precisely how or why, this shows that tasting balls are important. With more research, we may be able to find new therapies for impotence in human men. And, hey, if nothing else, it’s a cool fact you can share at parties!
Featured image by LisaMassacrePiercing/Deviant Art.