The possibility that chronic alcoholemia plays a role in the low energy intake by prolonging gastric emptying (GE) in alcoholic rats was investigated. A noninvasive Tc 99m-scintigraphy method was used to obtain half maximal (T 1/2 ) GE times in conscious rats fed an alcohol or an isoenergetic control diet. One group of rats had free access to a liquid diet containing 36% of energy from alcohol for 4 weeks. The second and third groups were the isoenergetic and free-access controls respectively. The mean T 1/2 (min) in these groups were 59.9, 22.3 and 29.6 in the non-fasted, and 24.3, 23.0 and 6.8 in the overnight fasted state respectively. Alcoholic rats had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 33.4 m mole/L which dropped to 1 m mole/L in the fasted state. Alcoholic rats were switched to an isoenergetic diet with 26% of energy from alcohol and those in the second group were pair-fed a control diet for an additional 4 weeks. Rats fed the 26% alcohol diet ingested daily an amount of alcohol similar to that by rats fed the 36% alcohol diet but exhibited a very low BAC (5.0 m mole/L). They were not malnourished, unlike those fed the 36% alcohol diet. The mean T 1/2 in the 26% alcohol and isoenergetic control groups were 27.9 and 23.4 in the fed, and 7.5 and 6.3 in the fasted state respectively. These results show that rather than alcohol consumption per se, chronic alcoholemia and energy restriction prolong the delay in GE. They also show the reversible nature of the GE profile from abnormal delay to normal GE despite a continuous consumption of high amounts of alcohol sufficient to cause high BAC in rats receiving an increment in energy intake. Chronic alcoholemia has the potential to restrict energy intake by abnormally prolonging GE and therefore to induce malnutrition.
- energy restriction
- gastric emptying
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics