Michael Staines
Michael Staines

13.55 6 May 2021


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A new study has found that smelling Turkish coffee can return your sense of smell while you are recovering from the coronavirus.

On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Professor Trinity Luke O’Neill said researchers from the Connecticut Chemosensory Chemical Research Centre have found that the best thing you can do while recovering from COVID-19 is “wake up and smell the coffee.”

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Luke O'Neill: Sniffing Turkish coffee could return your sense of smell after coronavirus

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“They are experts on the sense of smell,” he said. “The world experts on what the sense of smell is are there.

“They decided to test what might bring the sense of smell back and the thing that worked was Turkish coffee.

“So, if you have lost your sense of smell or it is gone a bit because of COVID, they got people to sniff the coffee and guess what? A third of them, their sense of smell came back.”

Luke O'Neill Luke O'Neill

The study found that people who were suffering either a moderate or severe reduction in their sense of smell experienced an improvement after smelling Turkish coffee intermittently.

The coffee had no effect on people who had suffered a total loss of smell.

Smell

“Whatever is in the coffee; whatever the odorants were, as we call these things that we sniff, that was having a very powerful effect on your sense of smell and was somehow recharging the batteries,” said Professor O’Neill.

“So, it is wake up and smell the coffee. Now, why they used Turkish coffee I don’t know, maybe that is especially strong-smelling – but there seems to be something in coffee that gets our sense of smell going again.

“So that was a good one because many people still report a lack of smell remember – even months after.”

Taste

The Trinity professor said people who do experience improvements in their sense of smell are likely to see their sense of taste return as well.

“A lot of your taste is built into smell actually strange enough,” he said.

“Because you have only got four things (sweet, bitter, sour, and salty) you can actually taste, so our sense of smell is tied into how we sense things in food and so on.

“So, it is mainly to do with smell we think. In other words, if you can restore your sense of smell, that would impact on your taste as well.”

Professor O’Neill also discussed two new studies showing that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are effective against COVID variants – including the South African strain.

You can listen back here:

Luke O'Neill: Sniffing Turkish coffee could return your sense of smell after coronavirus

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    


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