Pine nuts, also known as pignolis and pinyons, are harvested from the cones of nut-bearing pine trees throughout the world. These small, ivory-colored nuts have been identified as the cause of an emerging problem known as “pine mouth syndrome,” an adverse food reaction that can spoil taste buds for weeks.
No Known Remedy
Pine mouth syndrome affects your taste buds by making everything, even water, taste bitter or metallic. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it typically occurs within 48 hours of consuming pine nuts, and can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks. The problem is characterized as an adverse food reaction, not a food allergy, and it has no known therapies or remedies.
A study published in the “Journal of Medical Toxicology” in June 2010 found that although little is known about pine mouth syndrome, symptoms seem to be worst within the first couple of days and typically improve over time. The journal “Food and Chemical Toxicology” reports that the problem usually disappears on its own and hasn’t been linked to more serious health problems.
- U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “Pine Mouth” and Consumption of Pine Nuts
- Seminars in Neurology: Pine Mouth (Pine Nut) Syndrome - Description of the Toxidrome, Preliminary Case Definition, and Best Evidence Regarding an Apparent Etiology
- Journal of Medical Toxicology: “Pine Mouth” Syndrome - Cacogeusia Following Ingestion of Pine Nuts (Genus: Pinus). An Emerging Problem?
- Food and Chemical Toxicology: An Investigational Report into the Causes of Pine Mouth Events in U.S. Consumers
- Wellness Foods A to Z: An Indispensable Guide for Health-Conscious Food Lovers; Sheldon Margen, M.D.
- Photo Credit Volosina/iStock/Getty Images
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