Review on March 16, 2009
A recent study suggests that high levels of a particular type of protein can ease the uncomfortable menopausal symptom of bloating.
Researchers at Ohio State University found that if the normal amount of a particular protein, known as EAAT2, or excitatory amino acid transporter 2, is doubled up on, the result can be less abdominal pain from bloating.
The study was conducted on mice and has yet to be tested on human subjects. Yet, the findings compel the researchers to be hopeful that humans will experience similar results and suffer less from bloating pain
The protein limits the signals of pain from bloating that are sent to the brain, which means that less pain is experienced during bouts of bloating. It's important to remember, the scientists said, that the protein doesn't appear to reduce bloating itself, but instead it only reduces the pain and discomfort associated with bloating.
High levels of EAAT2 act on glutamate, which is an amino acid that transmits signals to the brain, signals such as those that produce the experience of pain. The study found that the protein appears to jam glutamate into cells, thus preventing it from making its way to the brain to trigger the sensation of pain and discomfort caused by bloating.
Although some questions remain regarding the protein, researchers are maintaining their hope that EAAT2 will help alleviate painful bloating and other symptoms related to a variety of gastrointestinal disorders.