Aim: To investigate the effect of dietary fiber on symptoms and esophageal function testing parameters in non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) (NERD) patients.
Methods: Thirty-six NERD patients with low (< 20 g/d) dietary fiber intake were enrolled in the study. They were examined with the use of symptom questionnaire (GERD-Q), high-resolution esophageal manometry, 24-h esophageal pH-impedance examinations, and food frequency questionnaire before and after 10 d of usual diet supplemented by psyllium 5.0 g TID. Complete data of 30 patients were available to the final analysis. The obtained results were analyzed with the use of non-parametric statistics (Wilcoxon matched pairs test).
Results: The number of patients experiencing heartburn was less (93.3% at baseline vs 40% at the end of the study, P < 0.001) and the GERD-Q score decreased (mean ± SD: 10.9 ± 1.7 vs 6.0 ± 2.3, P < 0.001) after the treatment period. Minimal resting lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure increased from 5.41 ± 10.1 to 11.3 ± 9.4 mmHg (P = 0.023), but no change in residual LES pressure and mean resting pressure was found. Total number of gastroesophageal refluxes (GER) decreased from 67.9 ± 17.7 to 42.4 ± 13.5 (P < 0.001) predominantly by acid and weak acid types of GERs. No significant change in mean esophageal pH and % of time pH < 4 was registered. Maximal reflux time decreased from 10.6 ± 12.0 min to 5.3 ± 3.7 min (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Fiber-enriched diet led to a significant increase of minimal lower esophageal sphincter resting pressure, a decrease of number of gastroesophageal refluxes, and a decrease of heartburn frequency per week in NERD.
Keywords: Dietary fiber; Esophageal motility; Gastroesophageal reflux; Gastroesophageal reflux disease; Heartburn; Lower esophageal sphincter relaxation; Non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease; Psyllium.