Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility 2017; 23(3): 321-322
Regional Food Causing Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Jung Ho Park
Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Correspondence to: Jung Ho Park, MD, Department of Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, 29 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-Ku, Seoul 03181, Korea, Tel: +82-2-2001-2059, Fax: +82-2-2001-2485, E-mail:
Received: June 5, 2017; Revised: June 7, 2017; Accepted: June 8, 2017; Published online: July 1, 2017.
© The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. All rights reserved.

cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Food is an important contributor to functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID). Food is associated with symptom onset or exacerbation in a significant proportion of FGID,1 and a low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) diet have been associated with significant symptom improvement in patients with irritable bowel disease.2

However, there are several difficulties in revealing the correlation between food and symptoms of FGID. First, the types of foods consumed is very different depending on race, geographic specificity, diet habit, and culture. Second, there are many other symptom-inducing factors besides food, so it is difficult to see the relationship between symptoms and food alone.3 Lastly, the external condition of the patient will also be important, since psychological stress is widely believed to play a major role in FGID.4

In this issue of Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Choe et al5 tried to investigate the relationship between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and regional food, and concluded that hot spicy stews, rice cakes, ramen noodles, fried foods, and topokki were the foods frequently inducing typical symptoms in Korea. These results are consistent with those of previous reports in Western countries that high-fat foods, spicy foods, chocolate, mint, and citrus fruits are closely related to GERD symptoms.68

The results of this study were meaningful in that food information that would directly help gastroesophageal reflux patients were provided. However, 3 months’ duration of GERD symptoms, the recall bias, small sample size, heterogeneous participants, possibility of aggravating factor rather than a causative factor, and residual confoundings (eating habits, lifestyle, and genetic risk factors) were major limitations of this paper. Further research considering such problems will be necessary in the future.

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