People infected with the coronavirus have experienced several effects of the disease even after months of full recovery. One such effect was loss of sense of smell, as the infection first attacked the olfactory receptor.
This condition is called paroxysm, where familiar odors become distorted and disgusting, with consequences for food and mental health.
Scientists have now identified the trigger behind parosmia, a post-infection feature that produces a burning odor or sewage-like odor.
In peer-reviewed research, published in the journal Communication MedicineExperts from the School of Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy, the University of Reading and University College London Hospital have found 15 different molecular triggers for the symptoms.
According to the survey, the most frequently reported trigger was 2-furanmethanethyl, which has a strong roasted coffee flavor. While studying the effects of covid, the researchers noted that people with a normal sense of smell identified the molecule odor as coffee or popcorn, but those with paroxysm described it as disgusting, disgusting or dirty.
“We used a technique that isolated the chemicals that made instant coffee smell and allowed several people with paroxysm to smell one by one after infection. Most of these people pick up the same chemical as the foul odor and stop their paroxysm, ”the researchers said in the study.
They further stated that prior to COVID-19, olfactory dysfunction was not largely recognized and was often underestimated by healthcare professionals. “As SARS-CoV-2 has spread and it has been realized that in 50-65% of cases there is a greater awareness of the debilitating effects of anosmia 1 (olfactory deficiency), an olfactory disorder,” the study noted.
The researchers said the study was conducted to gain insight into the processes involved in paroxysms. Coffee was chosen because, like meat, onions, garlic, eggs, and mint or toothpaste, it also contains aromatic compounds with the lowest known odor-thresholds, which may be involved in triggering episodes of paroxysms.
The study will help health experts provide scientific advice on food choices for people with post-infectious olfactory disorders.