Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gastroenterology. 2003 Apr;124(4):894-902.

Colonic fermentation influences lower esophageal sphincter function in gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Author information

  • 1CIC INSERM and U 539-Centre Hospitalier Universitaire-Hôtel Dieu, Nantes, France.



Colonic fermentation of carbohydrates is known to influence gastric and esophageal motility in healthy subjects. This study investigated the effects of colonic fermentation induced by oral administration of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).


In the cross-over design used in the study, 9 patients with symptomatic GERD were administered a low-residue diet (i.e., 10 g fiber/day) during 2, 7-day periods, receiving either 6.6 g of FOS or placebo 3 times daily after meals. Each period was separated by a wash out of at least 3 weeks. On day 7, esophageal motility and pH were recorded in fasting conditions and after a test meal containing 6.6 g of FOS or placebo. Breath hydrogen concentrations (reflecting colonic fermentation) and plasma concentrations of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), peptide YY, and cholecystokinin were monitored.


Compared with placebo, FOS led to a significant increase in the number of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations (TLESRs) and reflux episodes, esophageal acid exposure, and the symptom score for GERD. The integrated plasma response of GLP-1 was significantly higher after FOS than placebo.


Colonic fermentation of indigestible carbohydrates increases the rate of TLESRs, the number of acid reflux episodes, and the symptoms of GERD. Although different mechanisms are likely to be involved, excess release of GLP-1 may account, at least in part, for these effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk