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The molecule in coffee may cause a sense of smell disorder in people with COVID-19

According to a study published in the journal Communications Medicine, British scientists have discovered “a trigger molecule” in coffee that leads to changes in the sense of smell of people with COVID-19.

Loss of smell is a symptom of COVID-19 disease, with an estimated 18 per cent of adults in the UK having it. Some people also experience the condition olfactory disturbances, also known as parosmia – an alteration in the normal perception of odors whereby pleasant odors are turned into foul odors such as garbage or sewer odors. The biological basis for this problem remains a mystery to scientists.

However, British scientists have now discovered a strong odor molecule that appears to be responsible for causing people with parosmia to smell a stench. This molecule is called 2-furanmethanethiol molecule, which is found in coffee. People with a normal sense of smell after smelling it describe it as smelling like coffee or popcorn while those with parosmia describe it as a stench.

Dr Jane Parker, director of the Flavor Center at the University of Reading and a co-author of the study, said it was clear evidence that a disorder of the sense of smell is not only related to the nervous system, but may also be related. ingredients in foods.

According to a recent global survey, about 10% of people who have lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19 have parosmia and this rate increased to 47% when these people were re-interviewed. then 6 or 7 months.

The molecule that causes parasmia is most commonly found in coffee, chocolate, meat, onions and toothpaste.

In the study, British scientists conducted a test on volunteers with parosmia and those without parosmia when each person smelled the aroma of coffee, and then compared them. From the hundreds of aroma compounds found in coffee, people with parosmia can pinpoint which compounds are responsible for the condition.

The results showed that, out of 29 volunteers, scientists identified 15 of the most common compounds in coffee that cause parosmia, with the leading “culprit” being a chemical named 2-furanmethanethiol that is known to cause parosmia. 20 volunteers said the smell was horrible.

The nose has more than 400 different smell receptors, with each organ being sensitive to different scents. According to Dr. Jane Parker, the chemical 2-furanmethanethiol has a threshold that is too low for olfactory receptors to pick up and could be one of the first chemicals to cause a disorder of the sense of smell. Dr Parker thinks the brain seems to have “misclassified” this smell, and says scientists need to shed some light on this conditioning factor.

Meanwhile, Simon Gane, one of the study participants from the Royal Institute of Otolaryngology UK and Eastman Dental Hospital, said this is the first study to shed light on the structure in the nose and scientists Studies still have a long way to go to clarify this issue.

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