The present study was performed in order to evaluate: (1) the influence of a bicarbonate-alkaline mineral water (Uliveto) on digestive symptoms in patients with functional dyspepsia; (2) the effects of Uliveto on preclinical models of gastric functions. Selected patients complained of dyspeptic symptoms in the absence of digestive lesions or Helicobacter pylori infection within the previous 3 months. They were treated with Uliveto water (1.5 l day(-1)) for 30 days. Frequency and severity of symptoms were assessed at baseline and day 30 by a score system. Preclinical experiments were carried out on rats, allowed to drink Uliveto or oligomineral water for 30 days. Animals then underwent pylorus ligation to evaluate gastric secretion of acid, pepsinogen, and mucus. In separate experiments, gastric emptying was assessed. Crenotherapy was associated with a relief of epigastric pain, retrosternal pyrosis, postprandial fullness and gastric distention. At preclinical level, Uliveto water increased acid and pepsinogen secretions as well as gastric emptying, without changes in bound mucus. The enhancing actions of Uliveto on gastric secretions and emptying were prevented by L-365,260, an antagonist of gastrin/CCK-2 receptors. These findings indicate that a regular intake of Uliveto favors an improvement of dyspeptic symptoms. The preclinical study suggests that the clinical actions of Uliveto water depend mainly on its ability to enhance gastric motor and secretory functions.