Past research associating phenylthiocarbamide/propylthiouracil (PTC/PROP) taste status with alcoholism has produced equivocal results. Some have found higher proportions of nontasters among those with a family history of alcoholism than controls, whereas others have not. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between PTC taste status, alcohol problems, and family history of alcoholism. A total of 244 undergraduate students participated in this study, with a gender distribution of 75% female and 25% male. We found support for our hypothesis that male supertasters would report fewer problems with alcohol and a less significant family history of alcoholism. Interestingly, we also found that female supertasters had a greater family history of alcoholism and more current problems associated with alcohol use. Implications for the genetic link between PTC taste status and alcoholism are discussed.
- Family history of alcohol
- Taste status