According to UK researchers, vitamin A nasal sprays may be able to cure certain patients with Covid who have lost or changed their sense of smell.
A 12-week experiment is underway at the University of East Anglia.
Only a few of the volunteers will be given the therapy, but they will all be asked to inhale strong odors like rotten eggs and flowers.
Brain scans will also be used to see if the vitamin has helped to heal damaged olfactory pathways, or “smell nerves.”
The loss or alteration of one’s sense of smell is a typical symptom of Covid, however it can also be caused by other viruses, such as the flu.
While most people restore their sense of smell within a few weeks, many others are left with persistent odor problems.
Lina Alnadi, 29, from London, experienced parosmia after using Covid, which means she can no longer smell numerous everyday items.
For example, tap water has an unpleasant odor, similar to that of a swamp or sewer.
The herb coriander smells like deodorant.
And eggs, which are one of Lina’s favorite dishes, have a burned rubber aroma.
She explains, “You take your sense of smell for granted.”
“It was heartbreaking to lose it.” It had a significant impact on my eating habits.
“There were a lot of meals I couldn’t stomach.” It was really distressing.”
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Showering or brushing her teeth are equally uncomfortable for her due to her distorted sense of smell.
However, things have progressively improved, and Lina has discovered a few useful life hacks.
“Adding lemon or chilli to meals might improve the aroma,” she explains.
“I also tested and developed a list of safe meals that didn’t make me sick.”
“I had to be resourceful in order to ensure that I was consuming enough of the appropriate foods to be healthy.”
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Prof Carl Philpott of the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School and the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Trust, who led the study, said: “When patients are treated with vitamin-A nasal drops, we want to see if the size and activity of damaged smell pathways in their brains increases.
“We’ll check for changes in the size of the olfactory bulb, which is located above the nose and connects the smell nerves to the brain.
“We’ll also look at activity in brain regions connected to odor recognition.”
Vitamin A, also known as retinol, aids in the maintenance of:
- The immune system is the body’s natural defense against infection and disease.
- Vision, especially vision in low light
- The skin and lining of various bodily parts, such as the nose
This fat-soluble vitamin may be found in a variety of dairy products as well as several vegetables.
However, those who use vitamin A supplements should be aware that taking too much of it might be hazardous.