The present study evaluates the effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on taste sensitivity, hedonic perception of taste, and food preferences. The studied groups included 197 people in total (79 in the study group; 118 in the control group). All patients from the study group were treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy due to chronic non-healing wounds. The control group consisted of healthy people, who did not receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The taste intensity, recognition thresholds, and hedonic perception were examined using gustatory tests. The aqueous solutions of sucrose for sweet, sodium chloride for salty, citric acid for sour, quinine hydrochloride for bitter, and monosodium glutamate for umami taste were used. The participants fulfilled the questionnaire to examine pleasure derived from eating certain types of dishes. Gustatory tests and analyses of the pleasure derived from eating in the study group were carried out before the first exposure to hyperbaric oxygen and then at the end of therapy, after at least 25 sessions of treatment. In the control group, examination of perception of taste sensations was conducted only once. The results of comparing patients with non-healing wounds with healthy people are characterized by reduced taste sensitivity. After participation in hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the improvement in perception of taste sensations and changes in hedonic evaluation have occurred among patients with non-healing wounds. In terms of food preference, a decreased desire for eating sweet desserts, chocolate, and crisps was observed in those patients who received hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Hartman-Petrycka, Knefel, Lebiedowska, Kosmala, Klimacka-Nawrot, Kawecki, Nowak, Błońska-Fajfrowska, (2016). Alterations in taste perception as a result of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Appetite, 2016 Dec;107():159-165. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27497834