Ingestion of a carbonated beverage decreases lower esophageal sphincter pressure and increases frequency of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation in normal subjects

Indian J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jun;31(3):121-4. doi: 10.1007/s12664-012-0206-0. Epub 2012 Jul 12.


Transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxation (tLESR) and decreased basal lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure are postulated mechanisms of gastroesophageal reflux (GER). There is conflicting evidence on the effect of carbonated drinks on lower esophageal sphincter function. This study was conducted to assess the effect of a carbonated beverage on tLESR and LES pressure. High resolution manometry tracings (16 channel water-perfused, Trace 1.2, Hebbard, Australia) were obtained in 18 healthy volunteers (6 men) for 30 min each at baseline, and after 200 mL of chilled potable water and 200 mL of chilled carbonated cola drink (Pepsi [Pepsico India Ltd]). The sequence of administration of the drinks was determined by random number method generated by a computer. The analysis of tracings was done using TRACE 1.2 software by a physician who was unaware of the sequence of administration of fluids. The mean (SD) age of the participant was 37.3 (12.9) years. The median (range) frequency of tLESr was higher after the carbonated beverage (10.5 [0-26]) as compared to baseline (0 [0-3], p = 0.005) as well as after water (1 [0-14], p = 0.010). The LES pressure decreased after ingestion of the carbonated beverage (18.5 [11-37] mmHg) compared to baseline (40.5 [25-66] mmHg, p = 0.0001) and after water (34 [15-67] mmHg, p = 0.003). Gastric pressure was not different in the three groups. Ingestion of a carbonated beverage increases tLESr and lowers LES pressure in healthy subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carbonated Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Esophageal Sphincter, Lower / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Relaxation / physiology
  • Pressure
  • Young Adult