Acid reflux is common and one of the most frequent causes of indigestion. Typical symptoms include heartburn, excessive belching, and respiratory problems in some cases. Smoking and a high salt intake significantly increase the risk of acid reflux say researchers according to a new study.
Results of the study showed that people who smoked every day for more than 20 years were 70-percent more likely to have acid reflux than non-smokers. Those who routinely added salt to meals were also 70-percent more likely to have acid reflux than those who did not. In addition, those who ate salted meat or fish three-or-more times a week were 50-percent more likely to have acid reflux than those who never ate these foods.
However, researchers say they found that some lifestyle factors seemed to protect against acid reflux. Regular consumption of high fiber brown bread and 30 minutes of strenuous exercise at least once a week both cut in half the risk of developing acid reflux. Heavy coffee drinkers (around seven cups a day) were also about 40-percent less likely to develop acid reflux than those who drank one cup or none a day.