Serial studies were carried out on six healthy volunteers (19-24 years) to investigate the effect of meal temperature [either 4 degrees C (cold), 37 degrees C (control) or 50 degrees C (warm)] on the rate of gastric emptying of a radiolabelled isosmotic drink of orange juice. The mean maximum intragastric temperature occurred 60 seconds after the onset of ingestion of the warm drink and reached 43.0 degrees C (0.4) mean (SD) while the mean minimum intragastric temperature occurred 45 seconds after the onset of ingestion of the cold drink and reached 21.2 degrees C (1.9). Intragastric temperature then returned to body temperature within 20-30 minutes of ingestion of the warm and cold drinks. Warm and cold drinks appeared to empty from the stomach more slowly than the control drink. The initial rate of gastric emptying of the cold drink was significantly slower than the control drink (p less than 0.05) and the difference in emptying rates between cold and control drinks were significantly correlated with the differences in intragastric temperatures (p less than 0.01). The difference in the initial emptying rates between warm and control drinks were not statistically significant.
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