“Heavy water” is the name given to water where neutrons form deuterium in hydrogen atoms. Chemically it considered to almost the same as ordinary water, but some early researchers have described it as a sweet taste, a claim that has received with great skepticism.
Now, biologists and biochemists have judged those early physicists and explained how humans can taste extra neutrons. In addition to being the most common element in the universe, hydrogen can usually be as simple as any element – just a proton and an electron, sometimes known as a protium. However, even a small portion of the hydrogen atom in the Big Bang contains neutrons, making it deuterium. Our ocean water reflects this.
Neutrons almost double the weight of hydrogen atoms, so when a molecule of water contains a deuterium atom it weighs about 5 percent more than ordinary water, doubling when both protium atoms replaced. Heavy water, produced by isolating deuterium-containing molecules in seawater, slows down neutrons, affects nuclear reactions, and makes it easier to achieve dissociation and fusion.
Our taste buds, however are influenced chemicals, not physical ones, making it difficult distinguish reactions and chemistry. As a result, reports of sweetening with heavy water in the 1930s considered impossible, especially since the discoverer of deuterium insisted it was tasteless. However, Dr. Dr Pavel Jungwirth of the Czech Academy of Sciences thought there might be something to the claim. He gave people unknown samples of refined heavy and light water and asked if they could tell the difference.
Jungwirth said in a statement, “Although these two isotopes are chemically identical, we conclude that humans can distinguish between H2O and D2O by taste (which is based on chemical sensitivity), with the latter having a different taste.” Rats, on the other hand, showed no choice in each bowl. Jungwirth explored this further, and a study in communication biology declared that lactisole, a sweetener, removes people’s ability to separate two waters and provides a clue as to how we do it.
Lactisole known suppress the TAS1R2 / TAS1R3 receptor, a pathway that we detect in sweeteners. TAS1R2 / TAS1R3 have known the difference between rats and humans. The modeling of proteins at TAS1 and three receptors showed small but significant differences in the way they reacted to the presence of heavy water, becoming more rigid.
Clearly, our brains, in our evolutionary history, have never encountered a high concentration of heavy water, interpreting it as sweet, a significant phenomenon of our senses to detect a small quantum effect. Heavy water can harmful to cells only at such high concentrations does it ever pose a threat. In fact, it used as a tracer for medical diagnosis.
Lots of effort is devoted to finding sweets that sustain our tastes but do not add to our risk of gout or diabetes. Theoretically, drinking heavy water instead of soft drinks may be the way to become thinner, although the reason for your increase in concentration is probably not mild. However, for non-billionaires, this money runs out long before any benefits become apparent. This does not mean that the discovery of Jungwirth’s has no practical application. By showing our taste buds using more complex processes than previously recognized, this work could help scientists discover a more realistic way to give a sense of sweetness without calories.