Effect of caloric density of a meal on lower oesophageal sphincter motility and gastro-oesophageal reflux in healthy subjects.Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Feb; 15(2):233-9.AP
Patients with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease are advised to avoid the ingestion of large meals. In healthy volunteers, a relationship between the amount of postprandial gastro-oesophageal reflux and the volume of a liquid meal has been demonstrated.
To evaluate whether the amount of postprandial gastro-oesophageal reflux is also related to the calorie content of a meal, a second parameter that will be reduced by avoidance of the ingestion of large meals.
Twelve healthy volunteers (six female, 19-31 years) received two solid-liquid meals with either 842 kcal (solid 582 kcal, liquid 260 kcal) or 582 kcal (31% reduction) in a randomized order. The nutritional components (10% fat, 76% carbohydrates, 14% protein) and the volume of the meals were identical in both meals. The lower oesophageal sphincter pressure was measured continuously in the first postprandial hour with a Dent sleeve, and pH-metry was performed for 3 h postprandially with a glass electrode in the distal oesophagus. Blinded to the type of ingested meal, we calculated the mean lower oesophageal sphincter pressure, the frequency of transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations, the number of reflux episodes, and the fraction of time for which pH < 4.
A similar decrease in lower oesophageal sphincter pressure was observed after ingestion of the high calorie meal (median 10.9 mmHg, range 4.8-16.7 mmHg) and low calorie meal (median 9.9 mmHg, range 3.9-18.4 mmHg). No difference in the number of transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxations (high calorie: median 9 per hour, range 5-13 per hour; low calorie: median 7 per hour, range 0-14 per hour) and of reflux episodes (high calorie: median 12 in 3 h, range 3-22 in 3 h; low calorie: median 12 in 3 h, range 3-30 in 3 h) was registered after intake of both types of meal. Additionally, no difference was identified regarding the fraction of time for which pH < 4 between the high calorie (mean 2.3%, 0.2-23.7%) and low calorie meal (3.3%, 0.5-17.8%).
Reducing the caloric density of a meal neither influences postprandial lower oesophageal sphincter pressure nor decreases gastro-oesophageal reflux in healthy volunteers. Thus, the amount of gastro-oesophageal reflux induced by ingestion of a meal seems to depend on the volume but not on the caloric density of a meal.