Carbonated waters it has been hypothesised as well as thermal waters may aid functional bowel problems due to the gastric stimulation by the carbonisation of the digestive juices.1 Fizzy bi-carbonated (A soluble mineral salt or mixture of salts that can neutralise acids) waters have also demonstrated some positive impact upon lipoprotein levels in humans. Plus there are indications that the bicarbonates improve bile acid flow and cholesterol metabolism.
So next time you reach for your bottle of fizzy water, consider the impact on your heart as well as your current account. The study in 2004 of non obese postmenopausal women not taking hormone replacement therapy or food supplements found that, compared with the control period, drinking carbonated water rich in sodium significantly decreased total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein by 6.8% and 14.8%, while high density lipoprotein increased by 8.7%. Despite the increased sodium in the mineral drink blood pressure was not affected. The impact was to significantly reduce their risk from CVD and Metabolic syndrome two common health problems. The group was already following the recommendations by the Madrid City Council for risk reduction food selection, and therefore they were considered to be an educated group.
How did they do it?
The subjects did not take oestrogen replacement therapy; supplements of vitamins, minerals, and phyto-oestrogens; or other medications known to affect bone and lipid metabolism. The study consisted of 2 intervention periods of 2 mo each, during which women drank 1 L/d (4 glasses) of a control mineral water (low mineral content) for 2 mo followed by the carbonated mineral water, rich in sodium, bicarbonate, and chloride, for 2 mo. Body weight, height, and blood pressure were measured, and BMI was calculated.
Blood samples were taken from fasting subjects and serum was analysed for total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triacylglycerols, apolipoprotein AI, apolipoprotein B, soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sVCAM-1), and glucose. Interestingly, despite the increased ingestion of sodium blood pressure levels did not change throughout the study. Quite likely this is due t the bicarbonate as it tends to reduce some of the negative effects of sodium in the body.The carbonated water also contained 39 times more potassium than the control water; potassium is known to counteract some of the negative effects of sodium and protects against CVD.
In addition, the women also had a marked decrease in fasting serum glucose concentration. This reduction indicates the relation between lipid metabolism and glucose, suggesting that consumption of the carbonated sodium-rich water studied can play a beneficial role in preventing cardiovascular disease and the metabolic syndrome.