Nutrients in Intestine Differ in Effects on Gut Sensitivity

Effects of intestinal nutrients more potent on gastric tone than sensation

THURSDAY, Jan. 25 (HealthDay News) -- The effect of intestinal carbohydrates and lipids on gastric tone are more potent than those on gastric sensation, but both depend on caloric load and the type of nutrient, according to the results of a study published in the January issue of Gut.

Maria Pia Caldarella, M.D., of the University Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues tested the effects of duodenal infusions of low, medium and high caloric loads of carbohydrates and lipids on gastric compliance and perception of fullness, nausea or other sensations in a population of healthy individuals. A computerized tensostat was used to apply tension to the gastric wall.

Overall, the effects of intestinal nutrients on gastric tone were more potent than the effects of nutrients on gastric sensation. At low caloric loads, both gastric perception and compliance were similar with lipids and carbohydrates. At medium caloric loads, perception remained unchanged, but lipids, not carbohydrates, relaxed the stomach. Lipids reduced gastric tolerance and increased compliance, while carbohydrates did not effect perception and induced only a partial gastric relaxation at high caloric loads, the report indicates.

"The relevance of our study lies in the novel information it provides on the mechanisms by which intestinal nutrients regulate physiological food processing and eventually signal dysfunction," the researchers conclude.

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