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Aim: To determine whether Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) taste blindness is associated with type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and possible relationship between intake of treatment medications and PTC taste sensitivity.
Methodology: The study participants consisted of 100 type 2 DM patients on treatment (group 1) and 100 newly diagnosed type 2 DM patients not on drugs treatment (group 2). Apparently healthy individuals (100) served as controls (group 3). Informed consent was obtained from each participant at the commencement of the study. Tasters and non-tasters were determined using phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) taste strips (0.0143 mg/strip).
Results: In group 1, 66% were non-tasters; in group 2, 60% were non-tasters while 37% in group 3 were non-tasters. Phenylthiocarbamide taste perception varied significantly among the 3 groups studied (p < 0.001). Non-tasters of PTC in groups 1 and 2 were not significantly different (p = 0.38). Non-tasters of PTC in groups 1 and 2 (p < 0.001; OR 3.30 and p = 0.001; OR 2.55 respectively) were significantly higher than non-tasters in the control (group 3).
Conclusion: This study shows that inability to taste PTC is associated with type 2 DM. However, intake of DM treatment medications does not appear to have any significant influence on PTC taste sensitivity.