Wednesday, 23 May 2007

High salt diet and ulcer

Many people know that eating a high salt diet increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. It is also known that a diet that is rich in salt increases the risk of gastric cancer.

But new research has found a link between a stomach environment that is rich in salt and the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers. In such an environment, the bacterium overproduces factors that increase the risk of disease in the long term.

It would make sense for anyone who has ulcers to eat a low-salt diet, would it not? So I was amazed to read in an article that Dr Perminder Phull, a consultant in gastroenterology at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, said that diet used to be a major factor in how people with ulcers were treated, but that medical advances mean that diet is no longer an issue. Really?

I don't think taking medicines which have side effects is better than watching what one eats. The first option may be easier (for people who don't want to make any lifestyle changes) and more expensive, but is it really more advanced than eating the right diet?

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