Gastric emptying, mouth-to-cecum transit, and glycemic, insulin, incretin, and energy intake responses to a mixed-nutrient liquid in lean, overweight, and obese males

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2013 Feb 1;304(3):E294-300. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00533.2012. Epub 2012 Dec 4.


Observations relating to the impact of obesity on gastric emptying (GE) and the secretion of gut hormones are inconsistent, probably because of a lack of studies in which GE, gastrointestinal hormone release, and energy intake (EI) have been evaluated concurrently with previous patterns of nutrient intake. GE is known to be a major determinant of postprandial glycemia and incretin secretion in health and type 2 diabetes. The aims of this study were to determine the effects of a mixed-nutrient drink on GE, oro-cecal transit, blood glucose, insulin and incretin concentrations and EI, and the relationship between the glycemic response to the drink with GE in lean, overweight, and obese subjects. Twenty lean, 20 overweight, and 20 obese males had measurements of GE, oro-cecal transit, and blood glucose, insulin, GLP-1, and GIP concentrations for 5 h after ingestion of a mixed-nutrient drink (500 ml, 532 kcal); EI at a subsequent buffet lunch was determined. Habitual EI was also quantified. Glycemic and insulinemic responses to the drink were greater in the obese (both P < 0.05) when compared with both lean and overweight, with no significant differences in GE, intragastric distribution, oro-cecal transit, incretins, or EI (buffet lunch or habitual) between groups. The magnitude of the rise in blood glucose after the drink was greater when GE was relatively more rapid (r = -0.55, P < 0.05). In conclusion, in the absence of differences in habitual EI, both GE and incretin hormones are unaffected in the obese despite greater glucose and insulin responses, and GE is a determinant of postprandial glycemia.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Energy Intake*
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit*
  • Glycemic Index
  • Humans
  • Incretins / metabolism*
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / physiopathology*
  • Thinness / physiopathology*


  • Incretins
  • Insulin