Reducing salt intake decreases stomach bloating, new research concludes.
In addition, reducing fibre in the diet also combats the amount of stomach bloating.
Stomach bloating affects one-third of adults in the US.
Over 90 percent of people with irritable bowel syndrome experience stomach bloating.
It is caused by a buildup of gas in the gut.
The gas is created as the gut bacteria try to break down fibre.
Dr Noel Mueller, the study’s first author, said:
“Bloating is one of the leading gastrointestinal complaints in the U.S. and can be exacerbated in some people by a high-fiber diet; our results suggest that they might be able to reduce that bloating, without compromising on healthy fiber, by lowering their sodium intake.”
The conclusions come from a study of 412 people with high blood pressure which also collected data on stomach bloating.
It found that a low-fibre diet decreased the risk of bloating by 41 percent.
Men are particularly susceptible to the effect of dietary fibre on bloating.
A low sodium diet, meanwhile, decreased the risk of stomach bloating by 27 percent.
How salt causes bloating is not yet known, although the scientists think it could be because salt causes water retention.
Dr Mueller said:
“We hypothesize that sodium intake also alters the gut microbiome in a manner that modifies bacterial sulfide production.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Peng et al., 2019).