Omega-3 Fats – Effects on Gastric Emptying

Health Benefits of Omega-3 Polyunsaturates
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Meals containing omega-3 polyunsaturates reduce the time taken for the stomach to empty.

  • In an Oxford study, 10 healthy women aged 50-62 years were given, as part of a mixed meal, 40g of oil that was either rich in saturates, monounsaturates, omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or omega-3 PUFAs.
  • C13-radiolabelled octanoate (100mg) was also added, and gastric emptying was assessed by monitoring breath levels of C13.
  • The omega-3 meals consistently enhanced C13 recovery from the breath, indicating increased gastric emptying rates, a delayed response to cholecytokinin and a reduced response to glucagon-like peptide 1.
  • These last two observations may explain the mechanism of the omega-3 PUFA effect.

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Source: Robertson MD, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:232-8

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