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J Clin Invest. 1996 Jan 1; 97(1): 92–103.
PMCID: PMC507066

Gastric emptying and release of incretin hormones after glucose ingestion in humans.


This study investigated in eight healthy male volunteers (a) the gastric emptying pattern of 50 and 100 grams of glucose; (b) its relation to the phase of interdigestive motility (phase I or II) existing when glucose was ingested; and (c) the interplay between gastric emptying or duodenal perfusion of glucose (1.1 and 2.2 kcal/min; identical total glucose loads as orally given) and release of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), glucagon-like peptide-1(7-36)amide (GLP-1), C-peptide, insulin, and plasma glucose. The phase of interdigestive motility existing at the time of glucose ingestion did not affect gastric emptying or any metabolic parameter. Gastric emptying of glucose displayed a power exponential pattern with a short initial lag period. Duodenal delivery of glucose was not constant but exponentially declined over time. Increasing the glucose load reduced the rate of gastric emptying by 27.5% (P < 0.05) but increased the fractional duodenal delivery of glucose. Both glucose loads induced a fed motor pattern which was terminated by an antral phase III when approximately 95% of the meal had emptied. Plasma GLP-1 rose from basal levels of approximately 1 pmol/liter of peaks of 3.2 +/- 0.6 pmol/liter with 50 grams of glucose and of 7.2 +/- 1.6 pmol/liter with 100 grams of glucose. These peaks occurred 20 min after glucose intake irrespective of the load. A duodenal delivery of glucose exceeding 1.4 kcal/min was required to maintain GLP-1 release in contrast to ongoing GIP release with negligibly low emptying of glucose. Oral administration of glucose yielded higher GLP-1 and insulin releases but an equal GIP release compared with the isocaloric duodenal perfusion. We conclude that (a) gastric emptying of glucose displays a power exponential pattern with duodenal delivery exponentially declining over time and (b) a threshold rate of gastric emptying of glucose must be exceeded to release GLP-1, whereas GIP release is not controlled by gastric emptying.

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Selected References

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