Background: Patients with reflux disease often complain of heartburn after ingestion of coffee. Induction of gastro-oesophageal reflux has been demonstrated by pH-metry following the intake of coffee in healthy volunteers. The reflux was reduced when the coffee had undergone a decaffeination process. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of decaffeination of coffee on reflux in patients with reflux disease.
Methods: Seventeen reflux patients underwent two osesophageal 3-h pH measurements. The patients received, in a double-blind study design in a randomized order, 300 mL of either regular or decaffeinated coffee together with a standardized breakfast. The fraction time oesophageal pH < 4 was calculated during the three postprandial hours.
Results: For regular coffee the fraction time was calculated to a median of 17.9% with a range of 0.7-56.6%. The fraction time was significantly reduced to 3.1% (0-49.9%) after ingestion of decaffeinated coffee.
Conclusion: The amount of gastro-oesophageal reflux induced by the intake of regular coffee in patients with reflux disease can be reduce by the decaffeination of coffee.