Low-proof alcoholic beverages and gastroesophageal reflux

Dig Dis Sci. 1993 Jan;38(1):93-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01296779.


Previous studies have demonstrated an increased gastroesophageal reflux after the ingestion of high-proof alcoholic beverages in normal subjects. Data on gastroesophageal reflux with usual amounts of low-proof alcoholic beverages are not available. The effect of white wine (7.5% v/v, pH 3.2) and beer (7.0% v/v, pH 4.5) was compared with water, a nonalcoholic beverage of pH 3.2, and an ethanol solution (7.5% v/v, pH 7.6) using ambulatory pH measurement in healthy volunteers. The fraction of time at pH < 4 in the first hour after ingestion of 300 ml white wine (median 13.2%) was significantly increased compared with beer (3.6%; P < 0.01), water (0.9%; P < 0.001), ethanol (1.3%; P < 0.001), and the nonalcoholic beverage (0.9%; P < 0.05). Beer provoked significantly more gastroesophageal reflux than water (P < 0.01). It is concluded that white wine and beer induce gastroesophageal reflux, which is neither related to their ethanol content nor to their pH. The mechanism for this effect remains to be identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beer*
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Wine*