Oral, gastric and intestinal influences on human feeding

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Direct infusion of specific nutrients or foods into different areas of the gastrointestinal tract, and techniques to distend the stomach, are useful tools enabling eating behaviour to be studied without the influence of orosensory factors. Using these techniques, the role of nutrients on gastrointestinal mechanisms of satiation as well as the interactions between the various systems in the control of feeding can be examined. Recent research in humans investigating the relative contribution of signals arising from different areas of the gastrointestinal tract has demonstrated that optimal control of appetite occurs only when orosensory signals are coupled with signals arising from the stomach and intestine. Interactions between gastric and intestinal signals do however combine to produce a more potent suppression of appetite and food intake than when either of these sites is stimulated alone. Gastric distension probably exerts a predominate influence on appetite suppression compared with intestinal stimulation, whereas nutrient stimulation of the intestine may function to modulate the sensations arising from gastric distension to elicit a meal-like sensation of satiety. In addition, these studies have highlighted that previous hypotheses concerning differential fat and carbohydrate satiation may require an orosensory component and probably do not reflect an inherent difference in the physiological effects of these macronutrients at the level of the GI tract. The interaction of orosensory influences, such as palatability, with negative feedback signals arising from the GI tract can be further studied using a combination of these techniques with measurement of microstructure of feeding in humans. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-734
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001


  • human
  • gastrointestinal
  • feeding behavior
  • orosensory
  • nutrient infusions


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