The effects of capsaicin on reflux, gastric emptying and dyspepsia

Authors


Sheila Rodriguez-Stanley The Oklahoma Foundation for Digestive Research, 711 Stanton L. Young Blvd, Suite 619, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA. E-mail: sheila-stanley@ouhsc.edu

Abstract

Aims:

To evaluate capsaicin’s effects on heartburn, dyspepsia, gastric acidity and emptying, and gastro-oesophageal reflux, and to test the hypothesis that capsaicin induces heartburn and exacerbates symptoms by sensitizing the oesophagus.

Methods:

Eleven heartburn sufferers underwent two separate pH monitoring sessions and assessments of gastric emptying (13C-octanoic acid breath test), heartburn and dyspepsia (100 mm VAS) after a non-irritant meal. The meal consisted of a sausage biscuit with egg, cheese and 30 g raw onion, 8 oz chocolate milk and a peppermint patty. Thirty minutes prior to meal consumption, subjects were administered a placebo capsule. On visit 1, subjects consumed the meal containing 100 μl 13C-octanoic acid cooked in the egg, over 15 min. On visit 2, subjects consumed the meal plus 5 mg capsaicin in gelatin capsules.

Results:

Oesophageal and gastric pH profiles and gastric emptying were not different between meals. Capsaicin did not alter mean heartburn and dyspepsia scores (> 0.05), but significantly decreased time to peak heartburn (120 min vs. 247 min; < 0.003). Time to peak dyspepsia was not altered by capsaicin (> 0.05).

Conclusion:

Capsaicin enhances noxious postprandial heartburn, presumably by direct effects on sensory neurons.

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