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May 2022
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Rye Relief

Study:  For Constipation, Rye Bread Outperforms Laxatives

Rye bread outperformed four other treatments for constipation relief.

Constipation.  There aren’t many conditions that every one of us experience at least once in our lives, but I’d be willing to bet that 99.9 percent of adults have endured the pain and bloating that characterizes constipation.

Now, if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, constipation should not be a problem.  But every now and then, all of us can slip from our regular healthy habits and, as a result, get a little backed up.

In an effort to, shall we say, “unclog” things, people turn to what they think is the most effective solution:  laxatives.

Now, if laxatives didn’t work, they wouldn’t be on the market, and they certainly wouldn’t be bringing in an estimated $725 million per year in sales.  That said, laxatives can become easily abused.  As a result, the body gets used to being supplied with a dose of Metamucil, Benefiber or Citrucel and becomes dependent on it.  In other words, the body can no longer perform its bowel-related duties without having a healthy helping of milk of magnesia.

Instead of resorting to laxatives and risking dependency, opt for a natural alternative instead.  Besides, according to new research published in the Journal of Nutrition, a natural alternative bests laxatives for constipation relief.

According to researchers from the University of Helsinki, whole-grain rye bread outperformed traditional laxatives in easing the symptoms of constipation.

Fifty-one people participated in the study, all of them constipated at the time of the study period.

Several treatment options were assessed, including whole-grain rye bread, buttermilk with LGG (Lactobacillus rhamnosus), a combination of rye bread and buttermilk with LGG, white wheat bread, and an unnamed laxative product.  The participants were randomly assigned one of these treatments.

By the end of the study, the researchers found that the people that ate the whole-grain rye bread showed the most significant improvement in constipation relief.  The rye folk had a faster transit time (41 percent faster compared to those taking the unnamed laxative) and more defecations over the course of a week (1.4 times more).

Admittedly, natural treatments don’t always work as well or as quickly as conventional medicine.  The beauty of natural treatments is that you avoid the side effects that are part and parcel of the pharmaceutical industry.  But every once in a while, there’s a natural treatment that’s more effective than conventional medicine.  This is just the latest example.


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