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 19 January 2018

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News

Impact of bitter taste on gastric motility

A study in the latest issue of European Journal of Gastroenterology reports that an unpleasant bitter taste delays gastric emptying but does not impair antral motility.

News image

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Unexplained nausea and vomiting is often associated with delayed gastric emptying in patients with functional dyspepsia.

Dr David Wicks and colleagues hypothesized that the experience of an unpleasant, nauseating taste could lead to a delay in gastric emptying.

The team reported that 16 healthy women consumed a bland liquid test meal on 3 separate study days.

Gastric emptying by sham feeding the bitter was 25 compared to 17 with the pleasant bar
European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

On 2 of the study days subjects sham fed either a bitter tasting, modified Slim-Fast bar or with a pleasant strawberry flavour.

The time for 50% gastric emptying was non-invasively assessed by electrical impedance tomography and antral motility by electrogastrography.

The team found that gastric emptying was significantly delayed by sham feeding the bitter compared with the pleasant bar, at 25 versus 17.

The researchers noted that electrogastrography power rose significantly during both the pleasant and the bitter sham feed.

Dr Wicks' team commented, “An unpleasant bitter taste delays gastric emptying but does not significantly impair antral motility.”

Eur J Gastroenterol & Hepatol 2005: 17(9): 961-5
16 August 2005

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