Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 8
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Jarapala, Sreenivasa Rao Kandlakunta, Bhaskarachary and Thingnganing, Longvah 2014. Evaluation of Trace Metal Content by ICP-MS Using Closed Vessel Microwave Digestion in Fresh Water Fish. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Vol. 2014, p. 1.

    Aliani, Michel Udenigwe, Chibuike C. Girgih, Abraham T. Pownall, Trisha L. Bugera, Jacqeline L. and Eskin, Michael N. A. 2013. Zinc Deficiency and Taste Perception in the Elderly. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 53, Issue. 3, p. 245.

    Aliani, Michel Udenigwe, Chibuike C. Girgih, Abraham T. Pownall, Trisha L. Bugera, Jacqeline L. and Eskin, Michael N. A. 2013. Aroma and Taste Perceptions With Alzheimer Disease and Stroke. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Vol. 53, Issue. 7, p. 760.

    Ikeda, Atsuo Sekine, Hiroki Takao, Kyoichi and Ikeda, Minoru 2013. Expression and localization of taste receptor genes in the vallate papillae of rats: effect of zinc deficiency. Acta Oto-Laryngologica, Vol. 133, Issue. 9, p. 957.

    Sekine, Hiroki Takao, Kyoichi Yoshinaga, Koji Kokubun, Shinichiro and Ikeda, Minoru 2012. Effects of zinc deficiency and supplementation on gene expression of bitter taste receptors (TAS2Rs) on the tongue in rats. The Laryngoscope, Vol. 122, Issue. 11, p. 2411.

    Onoda, Keiko Hirai, Ryoji Takao, Kyoichi Kokubun, Shinichiro and Ikeda, Minoru 2011. Patients with hypogeusia show changes in expression of T2R taste receptor genes in their tongues. The Laryngoscope, Vol. 121, Issue. 12, p. 2592.

    Faber, M. and Wenhold, F.A.M. 2009. Food Constituents and Oral Health.

    Sakagami, Masafumi Ikeda, Minoru Tomita, Hiroshi Ikui, Akihiro Aiba, Tsunemasa Takeda, Noriaki Inokuchi, Akira Kurono, Yuichi Nakashima, Mitsuyoshi Shibasaki, Yuji and Yotsuya, Osamu 2009. A zinc-containing compound, Polaprezinc, is effective for patients with taste disorders: randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center study. Acta Oto-Laryngologica, Vol. 129, Issue. 10, p. 1115.


Causative factors of taste disorders in the elderly, and therapeutic effects of zinc

  • M Ikeda (a1), A Ikui (a1), A Komiyama (a1), D Kobayashi (a1) and M Tanaka (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 February 2008

To determine the characteristics of causative factors of taste disorders amongst the elderly, and to examine the therapeutic effect of a zinc agent, taking into account age-related factors.


A total of 408 patients with taste disorders were divided into three groups by age: 49 years or younger, 50 to 64 years old, and 65 years or older.


The incidence of taste disorders caused by drug administration and systemic disease were significantly higher in the elderly group. A serum zinc concentration of 69 µg/dl or lower was found in 33 per cent of the elderly group, significantly more (p < 0.001) than the 19 per cent of the 49 years or younger group with such a concentration. Zinc administration was therapeutically effective in 70 per cent of the whole population studied, and in 74 per cent of the elderly population.


In the elderly, the incidence of taste disorders caused by drug administration or systemic disease was significantly greater compared with other age groups. The curative effects of zinc administration were not observed to be influenced by age.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Dr Minoru Ikeda, Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery, Nihon University School of Medicine, 30-1 Oyaguchi-kamimachi, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 173-8610, Japan. Fax: +81 3 3972 1321 E-mail:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1DA Deems , RL Doty , RG Settle , V Moore-Gillon , P Shaman , AF Mester Smell and taste disorders, a study of 750 patients from the University of Pennsylvania Smell and Taste Center. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1991;117:519–28

3PK Grzegorczyk , SW Jones , CM Mistretta . Age-related differences in salt taste acuity. J Gerontol 1979;34:834–40

4SS Schiffman . Taste and smell losses in normal aging and disease. JAMA 1997;278:1357–62

5H Hoffman , EK Ishii , RH Macturk . Age-related changes in the prevalence of smell/taste problems among the United States adult population. Results of the 1994 Disability Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Ann N Y Acad Sci 1998;855:716–22

6RI Henkin , DF Bradley . Hypogeusia corrected by Ni++ and Zn++. Life Sci 1970;9:701–9

7S Yoshida , S Endo , H Tomita . A double-blind study of the therapeutic efficacy of zinc gluconate on taste disorder. Auris Nasus Larynx 1991;18:153–61

10C Ripamonti , E Zecca , C Brunelli , F Fulfaro , S Villa , A Balzarini A randomised, controlled clinical trial to evaluate the effects of zinc sulfate on cancer patients with taste alterations caused by head and neck irradiation. Cancer 1998;82:1938–45

11H Tomita . Zinc in taste and smell disorders. In: H Tomita , ed. Trace Elements in Clinical Medicine. Tokyo: Springer-Verlag, 1990;1537

13RE Burch , DA Sackin , JA Ursick , MM Jetton , JF Sullivan . Decreased taste and smell acuity in cirrhosis. Arch Intern Med 1978;138:743–6

15S Matsuo , M Nakamoto , G Nishihara , T Yasunaga , K Matsuo , T Sakomi . Impaired taste acuity in patients with diabetes mellitus on maintenance hemodialysis. Nephron Clin Pract 2003;94:4650

16NW Solomons , IH Rosenberg , HH Sandstead , KP Vo-Khactu . Zinc deficiency in Crohn's disease. Digestion 1977;16:8795

17AM Harris , SM Griffin . Postoperative taste and smell deficit after upper gastrointestinal cancer surgery – an unreported complication. J Surg Oncol 2003;82:147–52

20RI Henkin , AL Larson , RD Powell . Hypogeusia, dysgeusia, hyposmia, and dysosmia following influenza-like infection. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1975;84:672–8

21H Tomita , M Ikeda , Y Okuda . Basis and practice of clinical taste examinations. Auris Nasus Larynx 1986;13 (suppl 1):15

25K Onoda , M Ikeda . Gustatory disturbance due to cerebrovascular disorder. Laryngoscope 1999;109:123–8

26RI Henkin , DF Bradley . Regulation of taste acuity by thiols and metal ions. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1969;62:30–7

27H Hasegawa , H Tomita . Assessment of taste disorders in rats by simultaneous study of the two-bottle preference test and abnormal ingesting behavior. Auris Nasus Larynx 1986;13(suppl 1):3341

28M Komai , T Goto , H Suzuki , T Takeda , Y Furukawa . Zinc deficiency and taste dysfunction; contribution of carbonic anhydrase, a zinc-metalloenzyme, to normal taste sensation. Biofactors 2000;12:6570

29T Kobayashi , H Tomita . Electron microscopic observation of vallate taste buds of zinc deficient rats with taste disturbance. Auris Nasus Larynx 1986;13(suppl 1):2531

30KH Hambidge , C Hambidge , M Jacobs , JD Baum . Low levels of zinc in hair, anorexia, poor growth, and hypogeusia in children. Pediatr Res 1972;6:868–74

31RI Henkin , PJ Shechter , WT Friedewald , DL Demets , M Raff . A double blind study of the effects of zinc sulfate on taste and smell dysfunction. Am J Med Sci 1976;272:285–99

34BL Vallee , WEC Wacker , AF Bartholomay , FL Hoch . Zinc metabolism in hepatic dysfunction. II. Correlation of metabolic patterns with biochemical findings. New Engl J Med 1957;257:1055–65

36F Marumo , Y Tsukamoto , S Iwanami , T Kishimoto , S Yamagami . Trace element concentrations in hair, fingernails and plasma of patients with chronic renal failure on hemodialysis and hemofiltration. Nephron 1984;38:267–72

37RM Walter , JY Uriu-Hare , KL Olin , MH Oster , BD Anawalt , JW Critchfield Copper, zinc, manganese, and magnesium status and complications of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 1991;14:1050–6

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The Journal of Laryngology & Otology
  • ISSN: 0022-2151
  • EISSN: 1748-5460
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-laryngology-and-otology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *