Published on 2/07/2019 1:51: | Source: ANI

Higher salt intake can cause gastrointestinal bloating, says study

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New Delhi

People tend to report more gastrointestinal bloating when they consume a diet high in salt, recent findings suggest. The scientists re-analysed data from a large clinical trial--the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-Sodium trial (DASH-Sodium)--conducted two decades ago, and found that high sodium intake increased bloating among trial participants. The researchers also found that the high-fiber DASH diet increased bloating among trial participants compared to a low-fiber control diet. The study was published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Bloating is estimated to affect up to a third of U.S. adults overall, and more than 90 per cent of those with irritable bowel syndrome. Bloating features a buildup of excess gas in the gut. The production of gas can be attributed to gas-producing gut bacteria breaking down fiber. There is also some evidence that sodium can stimulate bloating. According to the researchers, the study is the first to examine sodium as a cause of bloating in the context of low- and high-fiber diets. Each of the two diets was tested at three levels of sodium, and the 412 participants all had high blood pressure at the trial start. The trial was set up chiefly to determine the effect of dietary sodium and other factors on blood pressure but included data on participants' reports of bloating--data that Mueller and colleagues analyzed for the new study. The team found that prior to the trial, 36.7 per cent of the participants reported bloating, which is more or less in line with national surveys of bloating prevalence. They found too that the high-fiber DASH diet increased the risk of bloating by about 41 per cent, compared to the low-fiber control diet--and men were more susceptible to this effect, compared to women. The key implication is that reducing sodium can be an effective way to reduce bloating--and in particular may be able to help people maintain a healthy, high-fiber diet