Chocolate and heartburn: evidence of increased esophageal acid exposure after chocolate ingestion

Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Jun;83(6):633-6.


Chocolate has been shown to decrease mean basal lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure, providing a rationale for the pathogenesis of chocolate-induced reflux symptoms. We assessed the relationship between chocolate ingestion and increased esophageal acid exposure using intraesophageal pH monitoring. Compared with ingestion of a dextrose control solution of similar volume, osmolality, and calories, postprandial ingestion of chocolate resulted in a significant increase in acid exposure in the first postprandial hour in patients with esophagitis. We conclude that this finding supports recommendations that patients with reflux esophagitis abstain from chocolate.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cacao / adverse effects*
  • Esophagus / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / etiology
  • Heartburn / etiology*
  • Heartburn / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Plants, Edible