A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that individuals reported more gastrointestinal bloating when they ate a diet high in salt.
The scientists re-analyzed 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 June 17 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
The team found that prior to the trial, 36.7 percent 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 percent, compared to the low-fiber control diet — and men were more susceptible to this effect, compared to women. But the scientists also determined that sodium was a factor in bloating. When they combined data from the DASH and control diets, and compared the highest level of sodium intake to the lowest, they found that the high-sodium versions of those diets collectively increased the risk of bloating by about 27 percent compared to the low-sodium versions.
Dr. Noel Mueller, an assistant professor in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Epidemiology, is the senior author.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on June 28