Coffee and Cigarettes may have been today’s common pair for some people but, researchers do not agree with such conventional pairing because of the hazardous chemicals they have discovered in cigarettes which impede healthy taste bud regeneration thus; smokers do not (decently) taste bitterness of coffee. Tobacco toxins do not only cause cancer but also baffle the smoker’s sense of taste but willfully attack the fungiform papillae -the area in your mouth where taste buds settle. Unfortunately, the extent on how much is influenced in the smokers’ taste continues to become a mystery as well as their probability to regain the healthy taste after they quit smoking.
Our taste buds are significantly responsible for telling us how sweet, bitter, sour or salty the food that enters our mouth. Even the metallic sensations are well conveyed by them. Taste buds (being a fragment of our oral anatomy) play very significant roles in a person’s taste system. As a matter of fact, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who is in business to protect people from health threats:
– They trigger the digestive systems that vary the saliva secretion, pancreatic juices and stomach acid.
– They reinforce the feelings of joy when eating.
– They enable a person to define the quality of foods which help get rid of anything toxic or bad to enter the digestive system.
However, a medical team (French medical team of Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital APHP) was stimulated to examine further the relationship between smoking and food/drink tasting. They investigated further and tested 451 respondents to determine the rate intensity of the fundamental human tastes: sour, bitter, salty and sweet.
Tobacco products do impede your taste bud regeneration
The team divided the subjects into 3 groups: smokers, non-smokers and former smokers. They conducted their experiment according to the respondents’ approval. During the experiment, the respondent’s capability to specify sweet, sour or salty taste was not affected or influenced by their smoking status. Unfortunately, their ability to realize bitter taste in coffee was affected by their smoking status.
As a matter of fact, the medical team found out that nearly 20% of smokers failed to correctly distinguish the bitter taste of coffee (when in fact, bitter receptors should even find bitter taste even in a very small concentration).
For the former smokers there were around 26% who were not able to properly recognize the taste while there was only about 13% of the non-smoker set who were not able to define bitter samples correctly. To summarize the overall finding, the team stated that the bitter taste must be more thoroughly examined which would serve as an instrument for smoking prevention or cessation.
The use of chemosensory perceptions should also be properly considered in a person’s smoking behavior. Based on their findings from their 451 respondents, they think that the accumulation of some toxic products of tobacco/cigarette could impede the person’s ability to regenerate taste buds thus; affecting the person’s ability to significantly define particular human basic tastes (which in this case is bitter taste) even after they have quit from smoking.
smoker silhouette courtesy of Mike Licht of Flickr