Effect of calories and fat on postprandial gastro-oesophageal reflux

P. Colombo, M. Mangano, P. A. Bianchi, R. Penagini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) is commonly considered to be worsened by fatty food, but it has recently been shown that changing the fat content of equicaloric meals has no effect on GOR over a 3-h postprandial period. Our aims were to verify this finding over a longer postprandial period and test the hypothesis that increasing the caloric content of balanced meals increases GOR. Methods: Thirteen healthy subjects (6 men) aged 19-31 years underwent 6-h oesophageal pH monitoring after 3 solid/liquid meals of the same volume and osmolarity eaten on separate days in a randomized order: a) high fat (58% fat) 2.8 MJ; b) balanced (23% fat) 2.8 MJ; and c) balanced low calorie (25% fat) 1.6 MJ. Results: The mean percentage of time at pH <4 and the mean number of reflux episodes after the balanced 2.8 MJ meal (3.0% and 11.5, respectively) were higher (P <0.05) than after the balanced 1.6 MJ meal (1.6% and 7.2) and similar to those after the equicaloric (2.8 MJ) high-fat meal (2.5% and 9.3). Acid clearance time was similar after all three meals. Conclusions: Our data suggest that advice on dietary habits in patients with GOR disease should be concentrated on decreasing the caloric load of meals rather than their fat content.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-5
Number of pages3
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Calories
  • Fat
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux
  • Oesophagus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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