A loss of the ability to detect the taste of iron in drinking water among older people has raised concerns that seniors, many of whom use assisted living, could be at risk of over-exposure to the element.
In the study, published in journal Environmental Science & Technology, authors note that perception of a metallic flavour in water can help people to limit exposure to such metals.
Not only do people require less iron over the age of 50, but research has indicated that older individuals who consume too much could be at an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The report states: "Whereas our research focused on iron, there are implications for other metals of health concern, most notably copper from copper pipes as our previous research has demonstrated that copper is less flavourful than iron and it is known that copper is also more toxic than iron."
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