Dietary caloric density and osmolality influence gastroesophageal reflux in infants

Gastroenterology. 1989 Sep;97(3):601-4. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(89)90630-6.


In a group of 19 infants being evaluated for gastro-esophageal reflux, we investigated the effects of various carbohydrate solutions (glucose polymers, 5% dextrose in water, and 10% dextrose in water) on the rate of postcibal gastroesophageal reflux during the first 2 h after a test feeding. The high-osmolality feeding (10% dextrose in water) produced significantly more postcibal gastroesophageal reflux over the entire 2-h interval. The major difference occurred in the second postcibal hour when the amount of gastroesophageal reflux was persistently high for 10% dextrose in water in contrast to the other feedings. We speculate that more rapid gastric emptying of low-osmolality solutions may account for these differences. Clear liquid feeding composition should be standardized during pH testing. Low-osmolality glucose polymer solutions may be more easily tolerated by infants with gastro-esophageal reflux who require carbohydrate or fluid supplements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Carbohydrates*
  • Energy Intake
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / diagnosis*
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Infant Food*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Glucose