The Role of Copper in Taste and Smell Function
Copper is essential for life. As such it plays an important role in sensory function, particularly smell and taste. Excess copper plays a role in cell death (1). On the other hand too little causes loss of smell and taste.
In an effort to treat a systemic collagen abnormality a copper deficiency was induced in humans (2). While the technique did not correct the collagen pathology it induced a loss of copper and a loss of smell and taste as the copper deficiency was created. Replacement of copper by oral administration (2) gradually corrected the loss of taste and smell. It is notable that trace metals including zinc and nickel (3) play significant roles in smell and taste function.