Could Supertasters Be More Resistant Towards Covid19


Supertasters are not more resistant towards Covid19 compared to other individuals. Read this article till the end to figure out the reason behind it. Have you ever noticed that some people are much more selective about their food than others? Well, that’s because they could be supertasters. Which is why they could seem to be fussy about what they eat. Food flavours are substantially stronger for supertasters than for regular tasters. There are 3 types of tasters in the world and they are;

  1. “Non-Taster” – Below 15 Taste Buds
  2. “Regular Taster” – 15 – 30 Taste Buds
  3. “Supertaster” – 30+ Taste Buds

Supertasters, who account for roughly one-quarter of the population, live in a high-definition technicolour world of taste. For the great majority of us, the world of flavours is simply monochrome. As mentioned earlier, a supertaster is someone who has a heightened sensitivity to specific flavours and foods. They have more than 30 plus taste buds and receptors compared to an average person. This is why they have a greater sense of flavour. For example, bitter flavours in foods like broccoli, spinach, coffee, beer, and chocolate are highly jarring to supertasters.


How can you tell if you are a supertaster or not?

The bitter chemical 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP) and phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) have been used to determine a person’s “bitter taster status” for more than a decade, with individuals who rate it exceedingly bitter being referred to as “supertasters.” A taste test is done to determine if the person is a supertaster or not.


How does one generally become a supertaster?

DNA Kit - Supertaster tongue - covid19
DNA Kit – Supertaster tongue – covid19

Supertasters are people who have inherited a dominant form of the TAS2R38 gene from their parents. As you can see, having the dominant TAS2R38 gene is necessary for you to be a supertaster. TAS2R38 codes for the bitter receptors (T2Rs) which are predominantly found in the taste buds of the oral cavity. T2Rs have recently been discovered in a variety of cell types, including epithelial ciliated cells, which are part of the innate immune system and help guard the body against pathogen infiltration when theY bind to their specific agonists.


So are supertasters more resistant to Covid19?

According to a 2015 study published in Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology1, bacteria that cause sinus infections activate protein receptors on respiratory tract cells, leading them to create nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is an important part of our innate immune system, which serves as the first line of protection against infections. In a 2005 study published in the Journal of Virology2, researchers discovered that NO inhibits SARS-CoV replication through two different pathways. First, NO or its compounds may decrease the amount of expressed spike protein, affecting the fusion of the spike protein with its cognate receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. Second, NO or its derivatives may reduce viral RNA production during the initial stages of viral replication. Because of human immunologic naivety to SARS-CoV-2, the innate immune system may play a key role in the body’s defence against the virus. Henry Barham, a rhinologist from Louisiana, wondered if nitric oxide could kill SARS-CoV, a coronavirus like SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 that was first discovered in Asia in 2003, causing a respiratory sickness that spread to 22 countries before being contained. This motivated him to look into whether Covid19 and supertasters are linked, which led to the 2021 JAMA Network Open 3 research below:


Can these findings lead to the development of more affordable taste tests that can assist in identifying populations at risk of Covid19?

Danielle Reed of Monell Chemical Sense Center, who performed the genetic testing in Barham’s 2021 JAMA publication, cautioned against overinterpreting the data, according to a National Geography article. Reed feels these patients were assigned the wrong group in the study because the analysis did not account for the general taste loss, an early and central aspect of Covid-19. Taste tests to guide medical care are “a goal we can work toward,” according to Reed. But, like with vision and hearing, the first step is to make taste and smell screening a routine component of health care. As we incorporate taste and smell tests into routine health care, new ways to anticipate health and disease may develop, and these senses may prove to be beneficial tools. Learn more about how our DNA test can help you. It’s considered the most advanced DNA test in Malaysia that we can provide, so we’d like to offer you our premium DNA test. You can take advantage of this offer and reap the benefits of getting a DNA test.

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