Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.
“Natural bubbling or sparkling mineral waters have been popular for thousands of years.” Manufactured sparkling water has been around ever since a clergyman “suspended water over a vat of fermenting beer.” “For centuries, carbonated water has been considered capable of relieving gastrointestinal symptoms,” including tummy aches, but we didn’t have good data until this study was published.
“Twenty-one folks with dyspepsia [an upset stomach] and constipation were randomized into two groups in a double-blind fashion” to drink one-and-a-half quarts of carbonated water versus tap water, every day for two weeks. Dyspepsia was defined as “pain or discomfort located in the upper abdomen,” including “bloating and nausea.”
And, carbonated water improved dyspepsia, compared to still water (tap water), and improved constipation. “Drink more water” is a common recommendation for constipation, but they didn’t observe a clear benefit of the added tap water. Seems you need to increase fiber and water, rather than just water alone. But, sparkling water seemed to help. Now, they were using sparkling mineral water. And so, whether these effects are due to the bubbles or minerals, we can’t tell from this study.
There’s been a concern that carbonated beverages may increase heartburn, GERD (acid reflux disease). But that was based on studies like this, that compared water to Pepsi. Soda can put the Pepsi in dyspepsia, and contribute to heartburn. But, so may tea and coffee, in people that suffer from heartburn. That may be partly from the cream and sugar, though, since milk is a common contributor to heartburn, as well. Carbonated water alone, though, shouldn’t be a problem.
Similarly, while flavored sparkling drinks can erode our enamel, it’s not the carbonation, but the added juices and acids. Sparkling water alone appears a hundred times less erosive than citrus or soda. So, a sparkling mineral water may successfully treat stomachache and constipation without adverse effects—unless you’re a teenage boy opening a bottle of sparkling wine with your teeth, especially on a hot day after you shake it up, placing one at risk for a “pneumatic rupture of the esophagus.”
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