Ability to taste bitterness linked to risk of severe illness with COVID-19.

Ever wonder why children are naturally more immune to the virus that causes COVID-19? Why do some young healthy adults die of the disease despite being in otherwise good health? Turns out your taste buds have a lot to do with it.

Taste tests were once a staple of TV commercials. Blindfolded participants––often labeled “a real person” or “not an actor”––sampled sodas, coffees, and other beverages. After declaring which one they liked the most, it was revealed that they’d chosen something other than their “favorite” drink. Today, the true tastemakers are professional tasters who help vintners produce the best wine and brewers the best beer. Having acute taste buds can mean more than a cushy job consuming pinot noir. According to a pair of recent studies, it can also predict outcomes for COVID-19.

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