Compared to fiber, water is more potent to prevent constipation
Everyone already knows that fiber needs is the best way to prevent constipation and keep the bowel movements remained smooth every day. However, a recent study showed that consuming large amounts of water is more potent than fiber to prevent constipation.
Results of this study emphasized the importance of water for health eating. But that does not mean a person should eat less fiber or other healthy lifestyle, said lead researcher Alayne Markland, of the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I think that diet, fiber rich foods, and exercise, along with adequate fluid intake is still recommended,” said Markland to Reuters Health (07/05).
Based on data from the researchers, about 14 percent of the world’s population suffer from constipation. Even so, the definition of constipation for each experts are different. Constipation is often seen as a lack of bowel movements, less than three times a week. However, some researchers have found that this could be caused by the slow movement of the intestines and digestive tract. Other researchers argue that constipation is characterized by hard bowel movements that is experienced continuously.
Markland and his colleagues then analyzed the responses of 8,000 men and women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2006 and 2008.
Based on the consistency of bowel movements, exercise, and eating habits, researchers found that more constipation problems are experienced by women and men who are less educated. This disease does not get worse with age.
Interestingly, researchers found that regular exercise and eating fibrous foods is not related to the likelihood that a person is constipated. Constipation is related to the amount of fluid consumed by someone. Approximately three percent of men and eight percent of women who consume more fluid experience constipation. While about eight percent of men and 13 percent of women who drank less are constipated.
Previous research suggests that drinking water can indeed prevent constipation. However, this only applies to people who are dehydrated. When the body is sufficiently hydrated, consuming more water will only make people urinate more.
Markland believes that more research is needed to determine more clearly of the effect of fiber on the prevention of constipation, which is not shown in this study. In the meantime, the recommendation remains the same to fight constipation, which is to eat fibrous foods, exercise, and lots of drinking.