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JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1995 Sep-Oct;19(5):403-6.

Osmolarity does not affect the gastric emptying rate of oral rehydration solutions.

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Department of Human Biology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, Netherlands.



The objective of this study was to determine the effect of either carbohydrate content or osmolarity on gastric emptying rate in normal healthy subjects.


In total 12 test drinks were ingested as a single 8 mL/kg per body weight bolus on an empty stomach. Six of these drinks had a different carbohydrate content, increasing stepwise from 45 to 90 g/L, but all with the same osmolarity (330 mOsm/kg). The other six drinks all contained 60 g carbohydrate/L but differed stepwise in osmolarity because of the use of maltodextrins with a difference in chain length (243 to 374 mOsm/kg).


The results show a significant negative relation between carbohydrate content and gastric emptying in the six drinks with a uniform osmolarity but progressively increasing carbohydrate content. The six drinks, which had the same carbohydrate-energy content but different osmolarities, emptied all at the same rate from the stomach. The delivery of carbohydrate-energy per minute from the stomach to the small intestine was the same for all drinks.


From these data we conclude that the rate of gastric emptying of carbohydrate-containing solutions is triggered by the carbohydrate-energy drink content or by the delivery rate of carbohydrate-energy to the gut. Osmolarity in the range studied here had no effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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