FYI:Fat Worsens Heartburn Without RaisingAcid Levels WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Oct 16 - Patients withheartburn are often told to limit their intake of fat, which canexacerbate their condition. But according to new research, high-fatmeals do not actually increase acid levels in the small intestine.Rather, they intensify the sensation of heartburn through anotherunknown mechanism. Until now, the alternative hypothesis that fat in the small intestinemight increase the perception of heartburn without causing acidreflux has never been tested, "but our results strongly support thisidea," Dr. Emeran A. Mayer from the University of California, LosAngeles and co-authors report in the November issue of Gut. The authors suggest that nerves in the small intestine may releasesignals in response to fatty acids, and that these signals may alter aperson's threshold for pain and discomfort. However, furtherstudies should investigate the mechanism by which fat appears toworsen symptoms of heartburn. Dr. Mayer's preliminary study included 11 people between the agesof 28 and 74 years with painful heartburn. Patients tookacid-suppressing drugs and fasted overnight. The researchers theninjected patients with incremental doses of hydrochloric acid thatcontained either a salt solution or small amounts of fat. Higher acid levels overall hastened the start and intensity ofsymptoms, but fat appeared to increase the speed and severity ofheartburn symptoms even more, the report indicates. "It would seem that many patients will already know fromexperience that fatty foods...are likely to increase their typicalsymptoms. If they haven't done so by trial and error, decreasingthe intake of any kind of fat should benefit many patients," Dr.Mayer told Reuters Health. Gut 2001;49:624-628. ------------------Moderator of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Anxiety and Hypnotherapy forum.I work with Mike building his websites. www.ibsaudioprogram and www.healthyaudio.com I also work with Mike in IBS clinical trials using Mikes tapes at an IBS research facility.My own website on IBS is www.ibshealth.com Please visit for accurate information on IBS.