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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1997;21(11):813-9.

[Effect of Ramadan fasting on intragastric pH recorded during 24 hours in healthy subjects].

[Article in French]

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Fondation Hassan II pour la Recherche Scientifique et M├ędicale sur le Ramadan, Casablanca, Maroc.



Lifestyle changes during Ramadan as the meals are taken exclusively in the evening, and nightly sleep is often delayed and shortened. The wake/sleep cycle is also modified. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of Ramadan on gastric acidity in healthy volunteers.


Nine healthy volunteers had 24-hour measurement of the gastric pH; 4 periods were compared: one week prior to Ramadan, day 10 and day 24 during Ramadan, and one month after Ramadan. The pH profiles and the [H+] activity (area under the curve) were measured during 24 hours, the night phase (5PM-8AM) and diurnal phase (8AM-5PM).


The diurnal variations of the pH profile were more significant; the median pH was 2.3 prior to Ramadan, 1 at day 10 and day 24 and 1.6 one month after Ramadan. The 24-hours [H+] activity increased by 45% at day 10 of Ramadan compared with its level prior to Ramadan. This increase was mostly diurnal (+122%) and also nightly (+25%). The activity [H+] was steady during Ramadan. One month after Ramadan, the 24-hours [H+] activity was 23% higher than the one noted before Ramadan.


This study shows that the conditions of feeding imposed by Ramadan are associated with an increase of the gastric acidity mainly in diurnal phase. These results do not explain the origin of the healthy volunteer digestive symptoms encountered during Ramadan.

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