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      More spice, less salt: how capsaicin affects liking for and perceived saltiness of foods in people with smell loss

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          Abstract

          People who lose their sense of smell self-report consuming more salt to compensate for a lack of flavor and enhance eating enjoyment. However, this can contribute to excess sodium intake and a poor diet. Capsaicin may help increase salt taste intensity and eating enjoyment in this population, but this has not been studied. The purpose of this study was to determine 1) whether salt intake in those with smell loss differs from population averages, 2) whether capsaicin increases flavor and salt taste intensity, and 3) if adding spice to foods increases food liking in individuals with smell loss. Participants 18-65 years old with confirmed partial or total smell loss for at least 12 weeks completed two sets of replicate test sessions (four total). In two sessions participants rated overall flavor intensity, taste qualities’ intensities, spicy intensity, and liking for model tomato soups with low or regular sodium content and three levels of capsaicin (none, low, or moderate). In the other two sessions, participants rated the same sensory attributes for model food samples with three levels of added spice (none, low, or moderate). 24-hour urine samples were also collected to determine sodium intake. Results indicate that although sodium intake is higher than recommended in those with smell loss (2893 ± 258 mg/day), they do not consume more sodium than population averages. Adding low and moderate amounts of capsaicin to a model tomato soup increased the intensity of overall flavor and saltiness compared to a model tomato soup without capsaicin. However, the effect of capsaicin on liking differed by food type. In conclusion, the addition of capsaicin can improve flavor, salt taste intensity, and eating enjoyment in people with smell loss.

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          Most cited references43

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          Defining and setting national goals for cardiovascular health promotion and disease reduction: the American Heart Association's strategic Impact Goal through 2020 and beyond.

          This document details the procedures and recommendations of the Goals and Metrics Committee of the Strategic Planning Task Force of the American Heart Association, which developed the 2020 Impact Goals for the organization. The committee was charged with defining a new concept, cardiovascular health, and determining the metrics needed to monitor it over time. Ideal cardiovascular health, a concept well supported in the literature, is defined by the presence of both ideal health behaviors (nonsmoking, body mass index <25 kg/m(2), physical activity at goal levels, and pursuit of a diet consistent with current guideline recommendations) and ideal health factors (untreated total cholesterol <200 mg/dL, untreated blood pressure <120/<80 mm Hg, and fasting blood glucose <100 mg/dL). Appropriate levels for children are also provided. With the use of levels that span the entire range of the same metrics, cardiovascular health status for the whole population is defined as poor, intermediate, or ideal. These metrics will be monitored to determine the changing prevalence of cardiovascular health status and define achievement of the Impact Goal. In addition, the committee recommends goals for further reductions in cardiovascular disease and stroke mortality. Thus, the committee recommends the following Impact Goals: "By 2020, to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20%." These goals will require new strategic directions for the American Heart Association in its research, clinical, public health, and advocacy programs for cardiovascular health promotion and disease prevention in the next decade and beyond.
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            A study on the frequency of olfactory dysfunction.

            Goals of the study were to evaluate the frequency of olfactory dysfunction in a large representative population without sinonasal complaints and to investigate the extent to which general pathological conditions, medications, and aging influence olfaction. Prospective. Results based on an odor identification test ("Sniffin' Sticks") were reported from 1240 subjects. The subjects presented themselves to an otorhinolaryngology outpatient clinic with relatively mild and transitory complaints unrelated to the upper airways. A detailed otorhinolaryngological examination in combination with a standardized interview further ascertained that these patients had no rhinological problems or symptoms relating to sinonasal disease. Apart from the confirmation of the effects of age, gender, and certain otorhinolaryngological diseases on the sense of smell, the study results revealed that certain general diseases (liver diseases, nonotolaryngological cancers) appear to influence olfactory function, whereas other diseases or disorders have little or no impact on olfaction (hypertension, cardiovascular problems). The data in the study revealed that olfactory dysfunction among subjects under 65 years of age is more frequent than previously reported.
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              Impact of olfactory impairment on quality of life and disability.

              To determine whether olfactory loss affects patients' quality of life or level of disability. Retrospective survey using questionnaire data and clinic database review. Two university medical center smell and taste clinics. A total of 1407 patients were tested for smell and taste disturbances from 1984 through 1998. Surveys were mailed to 1093 patients who had abnormal test scores; 420 (38.4%) returned completed surveys. Patients were grouped by self-rated ability to smell as "impaired" (those reporting persisting deficits) or "improved" (those reporting no smell problem when surveyed). Response frequencies were compared between the 2 groups for questions regarding ability to perform common activities of daily living and quality-of-life issues. Mean (+/-SD) number of activities of daily living affected by olfactory loss was 4.70 +/- 3.56 for the impaired group and 0.61 +/- 1.58 for the improved group (P < .001). Among specific activities, the most common cited impairments were ability to detect spoiled food (impaired vs improved groups, 75% vs 12%; P < .001), gas leaks (61% vs 8%; P < .001), or smoke (50% vs 1%; P < .001); eating (53% vs 12%; P < .001); and cooking (49% vs 12%; P < .001). Differences in quality-of-life issues were reported primarily in the areas of safety and eating. Overall satisfaction with life was reported by 87% of the improved group but only 50% of the impaired group (P < .001). Patients reporting persistent olfactory impairment after previously documented olfactory loss indicate a higher level of disability and lower quality of life than those with perceived resolution of olfactory compromise.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: conceptualizationRole: methodologyRole: formal analysisRole: investigationRole: visualizationRole: supervisionRole: project administrationRole: funding acquisitionRole: writing – original draftRole: writing – review & editing
                Role: investigationRole: writing – original draftRole: writing – review & editing
                Role: conceptualizationRole: methodologyRole: supervisionRole: writing – review & editing
                Journal
                medRxiv
                MEDRXIV
                medRxiv
                Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
                05 June 2023
                : 2023.06.05.23290966
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Monell Chemical Senses Center, Philadelphia, PA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding Author: Stephanie Hunter, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, shunter@ 123456monell.org
                Article
                10.1101/2023.06.05.23290966
                10275002
                37333099
                c88c3798-2f38-4745-90c2-5103f4846e9c

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator.

                History
                Funding
                Funded by: AbScent Research Grant
                Funded by: NIH
                Award ID: U01 (DC019578)
                Award ID: T32 (DC000014)
                Categories
                Article

                anosmia,hyposmia,salt,chemesthesis,sensory nutrition,olfaction
                anosmia, hyposmia, salt, chemesthesis, sensory nutrition, olfaction

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