Can We Use Diet to Effectively Treat Esophageal Disease? A Review of the Current Literature

  • Carolyn Newberry
  • Kristle Lynch
Esophagus (J Clarke and N Ahuja, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Esophagus


Purpose of Review

Esophageal diseases represent a wide variety of conditions affecting esophageal anatomy, physiology, and motility. Therapy focuses on pharmacotherapy and endoscopic or surgical management. Dietary therapy can be considered in management algorithms for specific esophageal diseases. This review focuses on outlining the literature related to dietary therapy in gastroesophageal reflux disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma.

Recent Findings

Currently, data are strongest for dietary manipulation in eosinophilic esophagitis, specifically the six-food elimination diet. Dietary effects on gastroesophageal reflux disease are less clear, though newer research indicates that increased fiber with reduction in simple sugar intake may improve symptoms. In terms of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, antioxidant intake may affect carcinogenesis, though to an unknown degree.


Outcomes data regarding dietary manipulation for the management of esophageal diseases is heterogeneous. Given the rising interest in non-pharmacological treatment options for these patients, continued research is warranted.


Esophageal diseases GERD Eosinophilic esophagitis Barrett’s esophagus Esophageal adenocarcinoma Dietary therapy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: ••Of major importance

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of Pennsylvania Perelman School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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