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Gastroenterology. 1986 May;90(5 Pt 1):1205-9.

Bile reflux is increased in cigarette smokers.


The effect of cigarette smoking on gastric emptying, gastric secretion, and bile salt reflux was measured in 19 healthy habitual cigarette smokers (greater than or equal to 20 cigarettes per day) and 18 nonsmokers. They were studied both in the fasting state and after being fed a mixed liquid meal. Ten of the smokers were studied twice, when smoking and when not, in randomized order. Smokers had lower basal gastric secretion rates than nonsmokers irrespective of actually smoking or not. In smokers, bile salt reflux and postprandial gastric bile salt concentration were higher than in nonsmokers even when not actually smoking (p less than 0.01). Smoking during the experiment slowed gastric emptying, and increased bile salt reflux rate and gastric bile salt concentration (p less than 0.01). It is concluded that cigarette smoking has both chronic and acute effects on gastric function, and that bile salt reflux may contribute to the increased incidence, and lower healing rate, of gastric ulcers in smokers.

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