Motilin is a hormonal peptide found in the duodenum and jejunum which potently influences gastrointestinal tract motility. Its role in human physiology is not yet established. After a standard hospital lunch the plasma concentration of motilin showed a small, transient, but significant rise in 28 healthy subjects. Individual food components either stimulated (oral fat) or suppressed release (oral glucose). Plasma motilin levels were, in addition, altered to an equal extent by intravenous nutrients, with glucose and amino acids suppressing release, and intravenous fat causing a significant rise in plasma concentration. These results demonstrate a consistent response to food stimuli, whether oral or intravenous. The release mechanism appears to be complicated and after a balanced meal, containing food components which both stimulate and suppress release, there is only a small net change.
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