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Taste acuity in response to zinc supplementation in older Europeans

Stewart-Knox, Barbara J., Simpson, Ellen E. A., Parr, Heather, Rae, Gordon, Polito, Angela, Intorre, Federica, Sanchez, Maud Andriollo, Meunier, Natalie, O'Connor, JM, Maiani, Giuseppe, Coudray, Charles and Strain, JJ (2008) Taste acuity in response to zinc supplementation in older Europeans. BRITISH JOURNAL OF NUTRITION, 99 (1). pp. 129-136. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1017/S0007114507781485


Taste acuity declines with age and may be dependent upon Zn status. The aim of the present double-blind, randomised controlled intervention trial has been to determine taste acuity in response to Zn supplementation (placebo, or 15 or 30mg Zn/d). Healthy older European adults aged 70-87 years were recruited within Italy (Rome) (n 108) and France (Grenoble) (it 91) to the European Commission-funded Zenith project. A signal detection theory approach was adopted for taste assessment. The data were converted to R indices and analysed by repeated-measures ANOVA controlling for baseline taste acuity as well as serum and erythrocyte Zn. Serum Zn increased post-intervention, indicating compliance with the intervention. Results differed across geographical region. Salt taste acuity was greater in response to Zn (30mg) than placebo post-intervention among those recruited in Grenoble. There was no apparent change in acuity for sweet, sour or bitter taste in response to Zn. Supplemented Zn may have potential to enhance salt taste acuity in those over the age of 70 years. Further research is required to determine if enhanced salt taste acuity is reflected in the eating experiences of older individuals.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Psychology
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Nutrition Innovation Centre for Food and Health (NICHE)
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Psychology Research Institute
Psychology Research Institute > Health, Education and Well-being
ID Code:11381
Deposited By: Dr Barbara Stewart-Knox
Deposited On:08 Feb 2010 15:50
Last Modified:15 Dec 2011 15:44

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