Gastric emptying of indigestible versus digestible oils and solid fats in normal humans

Dig Dis Sci. 1999 Jun;44(6):1076-82. doi: 10.1023/a:1026699401535.


Recent scintigraphic studies indicate that lipolytic products in the small intestine do not inhibit gastric emptying of fat as potently as previously suggested by studies that compared a liquid indigestible oil with a solid digestible fat. The older studies left open the confounding possibility that solid fats emptied differently than liquid oil. We studied eight normal subjects who ingested four meals in which fat was (1) liquid, digestible Crisco oil, (2) liquid, indigestible sucrose polyester oil, (3) digestible, solid Crisco, and (4) indigestible, solid olestra. Fats were labeled with iodine-123, and their gastric emptying was followed with a gamma camera. Indigestible fats (whether liquid or solid) emptied consistently faster than digestible fats (P < 0.005), although differences were small. Solid fats emptied about as rapidly as oils in the first hour; but more slowly thereafter (P < 0.01). A comparison of present scintigraphic with older studies suggested that solid fats were not well tracked by duodenal, marker-perfusion techniques, which misled previous investigators.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / metabolism*
  • Digestion / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gamma Cameras
  • Gastric Emptying / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Iodine Radioisotopes