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Metallic Taste in the Mouth From Vitamins

by
author image Meg Campbell
Based just outside Chicago, Meg Campbell has worked in the fitness industry since 1997. She’s been writing health-related articles since 2010, focusing primarily on diet and nutrition. Campbell divides her time between her hometown and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Metallic Taste in the Mouth From Vitamins
Taking vitamin supplements can cause dysgeusia. Photo Credit Lecic/iStock/Getty Images

Although your taste buds only detect four basic flavors -- salty, sweet, bitter and sour -- your sense of smell allows you to perceive a variety of more subtle flavors. Experiencing a metallic or coppery taste that won’t go away is a taste abnormality disorder known as dysgeusia. While the condition can have numerous causes, it’s often temporary if the cause can be removed or treated.

Vitamins and Metal Taste

If your mouth tastes like metal for a few hours every time you take a multivitamin, it’s possible your supplement is responsible for the off-putting sensation. Multivitamins, particularly those that contain heavy metals like zinc, copper and chromium, have been known to cause a metallic aftertaste. Iron and calcium supplements have also been linked to the condition, as have prenatal vitamins. If caused by a vitamin supplement, “metal mouth” typically disappears once your body has processed the nutrients, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Nutrition Overload and Other Causes

If your multivitamin seems to bring on a metallic taste that doesn’t subside within a few hours, you may be consuming more nutrients than your body requires -- a common side effect of taking too much vitamin D, for example. In such cases, adjusting your dose should help alleviate the problem.

Poor oral hygiene, allergies, upper respiratory infections, hormonal changes during pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies and prescription medications are other common causes of metallic dysgeusia.

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