Drinking soda helps us during indigestion. How?
Soda water or carbonated water is water in to which low levels of pressurized carbon dioxide has been dissolved, creating carbonic acid. The intake of soda water helps those with impaired digestion. Soda water causes bloating, which stretches the stomach. Mechanoreceptors in the stomach detect the stretching resulting in parasympathetic innervations to gastrointestinal (GI) smooth muscles. This results in an increase in GI motility.
Researchers have found that people who drank at least 1.5 L of carbonated water every day for 15- 30 days had a big amelioration in their indigestion and constipation compared to people who drank regular tap water. All carbon dioxide in soda water does not reach the stomach. Much is lost in the fizz when the bottle is opened, and some combines with swallowed air to cause belching and small amount is rapidly absorbed through the wall of the GI system.
Since soda water is a liquid, it easily passes down the oesophagus and the lower oesophageal sphincter relaxes and opens to allow its entrance into the stomach. The upper part of stomach relaxes to store the swallowed soda water. The digestive glands in the stomach lining produce hydrochloric acid, containing pepsin. Stomach mixes the digestive juices with soda water. Upon reaching the small intestine, soda water mixes with secretions produced by the pancreas and liver.
When the stomach is empty, soda water passes rapidly in to the duodenum where carbon dioxide is transformed into bicarbonate. The carbon dioxide dissolved is rapidly released in gaseous form as the fluid is warmed. The free carbon dioxide may be belched if the expanding gas increases the pressure and stimulates the gastric fundus, triggering the belching mechanism. Distention of gastric fundus can increase transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxation. If the soda water is taken while or after eating it tends to localize in the upper part of stomach and will produce feeling of fullness. Hence, carbonated water seems to influence stomach function by both mechanical and chemical effects.
DR. SAINUDEEN PATTAZHY
Environmentalist and Chief Editor
Journal of Scientific Research & Reviews