Airplane food can taste so strange because of the reduce atmospheric pressure on board and a dry nose and mouth. Image: WilliamJu/iStockphoto Many people find being high up an unpleasant experience. This is not just mountain sickness or acrophobia – it turns out our taste buds too have no head for heights. Taste is not just determined by the gustatory qualities of the food. It is also substantially influenced by the state of your mouth. Transient changes in our sense of taste are quite common. This can occur with gum and dental disease and mouth problems such as thrush and mucositis associated with a cold/flu or chemotherapy. Some medications can also alter taste sensation including some anti-hypertensive drugs, antibiotics and antihistamines. Contaminated pine nuts may also trigger a persistent unpleasant taste, known as pine mouth. Low zinc levels can also alter our sense of taste. Most Australians don’t receive their recommended daily intake (RDI) of zinc....
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