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J Nutr. 2004 Sep;134(9):2293-300.

In vivo imaging of intragastric gelation and its effect on satiety in humans.

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Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.


Previous studies indicated that physical characteristics of food influence satiety, but the relative importance of the oral, gastric, and intestinal behaviors of the food is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the satiating effects of 2 types of alginates, which gel weakly or strongly on exposure to acid, compared with guar gum whose viscosity is unaffected by acid. Subjects (n = 12; 3 men, 9 women) ingested a 325-mL sweetened, milk-based meal replacer beverage on 4 separate occasions, either alone as a control or including 1% by weight alginate or guar gum. Intragastric gelling, gastric emptying, and meal dilution were assessed by serial MRI while satiety was recorded for 4 h. MR images showed that all of the meals became heterogeneous in the stomach except for guar, which remained homogeneous. The alginate meals formed lumps in the stomach, with the strong-gelling alginate producing the largest volume. Although gastric emptying was similar for all 4 meals, the sense of fullness at the same gastric volume was significantly greater for all 3 viscous meals than for the control. Compared with the control meal, the strong-gelling alginate (P = 0.031) and guar (P = 0.041) meals increased fullness at 115 min, and the strong-gelling alginate decreased hunger by the 115-min (P = 0.041) and 240-min (P = 0.041) time points. Agents that gel on contact with acid may be useful additions to weight-reducing diets. We hypothesize that this effect is due to distension in the gastric antrum and/or altered transport of nutrients to the small intestine in the lumps.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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