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People with a poor ability to taste bitter were later 10X more likely to get COVID-19 - May 2021

Founder of VitaminDWiki
I was astounded by the 10X claim - May 2021, below
   The study especially made sure that the taste testing happened BEFORE any COVID-19
I did some research and found a meta-analysis that generally agreed - April 2021, below
I searched and found that some locations in Africa are especially able to taste bitter
     See AAI map below
I speculate that one of the reasons that people in African have low COVID-19 rates is their ability to taste bitter
     Foods can change much faster than genes can change
I speculate that it is not the genes directly, because people who have left Africa appear to have high COVID-19 rates

  • People who eat bitter food are less likely to get COVID-19
  • Perhaps bitter foods increases the immune system (Note the Swedish Bitters comment below)
  • Perhaps eating bitters might prevent or treat COVID-19
    • Note: Bitters ==> increases bile ==>increases bioavailability of fatty vitamins, such as Vitamin D

Note on Swedish Bitters
I have been using Swedish bitters for 50+ years as an occasional digestive aid
Swedish bitters in Wikipedia - first found around 1500

  • "Swedish Bitters has bactericidal, antitoxic and antiviral properties, and also helps to decrease the growth of viruses."
  • "Swedish Bitters is an IRREPLACEABLE remedy for the treatment of the endocrine system. It stabilizes metabolic processes and harmonizes the work of the endocrine glands."

Association Between Bitter Taste Receptor Phenotype and Clinical Outcomes
Among Patients With COVID-19 – May 2021

JAMA Netw Open. 2021;4(5):e2111410. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.11410 May 25
Henry P. Barham hbarham at sinusandnasalspecialists.com, MD1,2; Mohamed A. Taha, MD1,3; Stephanie T. Broyles, PhD4; et alMegan M. Stevenson, BSN1,2; Brittany A. Zito, BSN1,2; Christian A. Hall, MD1,2
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Key Points

  • Question What is the association between the bitter taste receptor phenotype and outcomes after infection with SARS-CoV-2?
  • Findings In this cohort study of 1935 adults, 266 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and those who experienced low intensity of bitter tastes or no bitter tastes (nontasters) were significantly more likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2, to be hospitalized, and to be symptomatic for a longer duration. Conversely, those who experienced greater intensity of bitter tastes (supertasters) represented 5.6% of patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, suggesting enhanced innate immune protection.
  • Meaning This study suggests that bitter taste receptor allelic variants are associated with innate immune fitness toward SARS-CoV-2 and can be used to correlate with clinical course and prognosis of COVID-19.

Importance Bitter taste receptors (T2Rs) have been implicated in sinonasal innate immunity, and genetic variation conferred by allelic variants in T2R genes is associated with variation in upper respiratory tract pathogen susceptibility, symptoms, and outcomes. Bitter taste receptor phenotype appears to be associated with the clinical course and symptom duration of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Objective To evaluate the association between T2R phenotype and patient clinical course after infection with SARS-CoV-2.

Design, Setting, and Participants A prospective cohort study was performed from July 1 through September 30, 2020, at a tertiary outpatient clinical practice and inpatient hospital in the United States among 1935 participants (patients and health care workers) with occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Main Outcomes and Measures Participants underwent T2R38 phenotype taste testing to determine whether they were supertasters (those who experienced greater intensity of bitter tastes), tasters, or nontasters (those who experienced low intensity of bitter tastes or no bitter tastes) and underwent evaluation for lack of infection with SARS-CoV-2 via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and IgM and IgG testing. A group of participants was randomly selected for genotype analysis to correlate phenotype. Participants were followed up until confirmation of infection with SARS-CoV-2 via PCR testing. Phenotype of T2R38 was retested after infection with SARS-CoV-2. The results were compared with clinical course.

Results A total of 1935 individuals (1101 women [56.9%]; mean [SD] age, 45.5 [13.9] years) participated in the study. Results of phenotype taste testing showed that 508 (26.3%) were supertasters, 917 (47.4%) were tasters, and 510 (26.4%) were nontasters. A total of 266 participants (13.7%) had positive PCR test results for SARS-CoV-2. Of these, 55 (20.7%) required hospitalization. Symptom duration among patients with positive results ranged from 0 to 48 days. Nontasters were significantly more likely than tasters and supertasters

  • to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 (odds ratio, 10.1 [95% CI, 5.8-17.8]; P < .001),
  • to be hospitalized once infected (odds ratio, 3.9 [1.5-10.2]; P = .006), and
  • to be symptomatic for a longer duration (mean [SE] duration, 23.7 [0.5] days vs 13.5 [0.4] days vs 5.0 [0.6] days; P < .001).

A total of 47 of 55 patients (85.5%) with COVID-19 who required inpatient admission were nontasters. Conversely, 15 of 266 patients (5.6%) with positive PCR test results were supertasters.

Conclusions and Relevance This cohort study suggests that T2R38 receptor allelic variants were associated with participants’ innate immune response toward SARS-CoV-2. The T2R phenotype was associated with patients’ clinical course after SARS-CoV-2 infection. Nontasters were more likely to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 than the other 2 groups, suggesting enhanced innate immune protection against SARS-CoV-2.

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COVID-19 as a worldwide selective event and bitter taste receptor polymorphisms:
An ecological correlational study (meta-analysis) - April 2021

Int J Biol Macromol. 2021 Apr 30;177:204-210. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.02.070. Epub 2021 Feb 11.
Shima Parsa 1, Vahid Mogharab 2, Mohsen Ebrahimi 3, Sayyed Reza Ahmadi 3, Behzad Shahi 4, Neema John Mehramiz 5, Mahdi Foroughian 3, Mohammad Zarenezhad 6, Navid Kalani 7, Mohammad Hashem Abdi 8, Farshid Javdani 1, Pouyan Keshavarz 1, Naser Hatami 9
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki
Those countries with poor ability to taste bitter had >5X the COVID-19 death rate

Background: Given the observed olfactory and gustatory dysfunctions in patients with COVID-19 and recent findings on taste receptors possible important activities in the immune system, we elected to estimate the correlation between COVID-19 mortality and polymorphism of a particular type of bitter taste receptor gene called TAS2R38, in a worldwide epidemiological point of view.

Methods: Pooled rate of each of the rs713598, rs1726866, rs10246939, and PAV/AVI polymorphisms of the TAS2R38 gene was obtained in different countries using a systematic review methodology and its relationship with the mortality of COVID-19. Data were analyzed by the comprehensive meta-analysis software and SPSS.

Results: There was only a significant reverse Pearson correlation in death counts and PAV/AVI ratio, p = 0.047, r = -0.503. Also, a significant reverse correlation of PAV/AVI ratio and death rate was seen, r = -0.572 p = 0.021. rs10246939 ratio had a significant positive correlation with death rate, r = 0.851 p = 0.031. Further analysis was not significant. Our results showed that the higher presence of PAV allele than AVI, and a higher rate of G allele than A in rs10246939 polymorphism in a country, could be associated with lower COVID-19 mortality. While assessing all three polymorphisms showed a huge diversity worldwide.

Conclusion: Due to extraoral activities of bitter taste receptor genes, especially in mucosal immunity, this gene seems to be a good candidate for future studies on COVID-19 pathophysiology. Also, the high worldwide diversity of TAS2R38 genes polymorphism and its possible assassination with mortality raises concerns about the efficiency of vaccine projects in different ethnicities.

The AAI Bitter varient was prevelant in a part of Africa
(that is now found to have low COVID-19 rates) - May 2016

Global diversity in the TAS2R38 bitter taste receptor: revisiting a classic evolutionary PROPosal
 Download the PDF from VitaminDWiki

Genes give Africans a better sense of taste - Jan 2009

New Scientist

  • "New research suggests that Africans have more sensitive palates than Europeans and Asians – at least for bitter tastes."
  • "A survey of numerous African populations in Kenya and Cameroon found a striking amount of diversity in a gene responsible for sensing bitter tastes."

Low COVID in middle of Africa (% of that in the UK)

COVID in Africa Sky.com - date unknown

'Supertasters' may also be better than you at fighting off infections - 2012

NBC News reporting on a study in the Journal of Clinical investigation

Bitters increased benefit of Chloroquine in obese patients with COVID-19 - Aug 2020

The influence of bitter-taste receptor (TAS2R) expression in pharmacological response to Chloroquine in obese patients with COVID-19   PDF

Created by admin. Last Modification: Sunday May 30, 2021 16:26:06 GMT-0000 by admin. (Version 25)

Attached files

ID Name Comment Uploaded Size Downloads
15674 African Death Rate map.jpg admin 30 May, 2021 16:13 77.84 Kb 21
15673 Taste map.jpg admin 30 May, 2021 15:55 41.90 Kb 19
15671 Global diversity in the TAS2R38.pdf admin 30 May, 2021 15:17 964.18 Kb 5
15670 Chloroquine and bitters.pdf PDF 2020 admin 30 May, 2021 13:57 443.83 Kb 10
15666 PAVI death rate.jpg admin 29 May, 2021 20:29 18.86 Kb 38
15665 PAV.jpg admin 29 May, 2021 20:09 20.06 Kb 3
15664 bitter taste receptor meta-analysis.pdf PDF 2021 admin 29 May, 2021 20:05 852.49 Kb 9
15663 Duration.jpg admin 29 May, 2021 19:54 23.09 Kb 34
15662 Taste vs CVOID.jpg admin 29 May, 2021 19:54 28.92 Kb 38
15661 Poor COVID-19 if poor bitter taste.pdf PDF 2021 admin 29 May, 2021 19:53 781.88 Kb 12
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