Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-108

Effects of taste stimulation on gastric myoelectrical activity and autonomic balance

Department of Basic Biomedical Science, School of Pharmacy, Medical University of Silesia, Sosnowiec, Poland

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Krzysztof Jonderko
Department of Basic Biomedical Science, School of Pharmacy, Medical University of Silesia, Sosnowiec
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_419_17

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Background/Aim: Sham feeding, reproducing the cephalic phase of digestion, and involving combined visual, olfactory, and taste stimulation affects gastrointestinal motility and secretory functions of the digestive system, as well as the sympathetic/parasympathetic balance (SPB). In this study, we aimed to check if taste stimulation with a single flavor affects the gastric myoelectrical activity (GMA) and/or SPB. Materials and Methods: Eighteen healthy volunteers underwent, on four separate days, 30-min electrogastrographic and electrocardiographic recordings: basal, with stimulation – while keeping in the mouth an agar cube with taste-delivering substance, and postexposure. Concentrations of saccharose, NaCl, citric acid, and quinine hydrochloride within the cubes were adjusted to 100-fold the individual taste recognition thresholds. SPB was determined from the heart rate variability (HRV) analysis of the recorded electrocardiograms. Results: A moderate but statistically significant increase in tachygastria and bradygastria percentage time share was observed, regardless of the type of taste applied. Bitter taste elicited a considerable decrease in the normogastria time share (from 82.8 ± 2.5% to 73.5 ± 3.5%, P = 0.00076) and a diminution of the dominant frequency (from 3.07 ± 0.08 to 2.90 ± 0.10 cycles per minute (cpm) postexposure, P = 0.01). Sour taste brought about a drop of the dominant power (from 42.5 ± 1.1 to 40.1 ± 1.4 dB, P = 0.0015). Two tastes hindered propagation of the gastric slow waves – the average percentage of slow wave coupling decreased from 77.9 ± 3.1% to 69.5 ± 3.1% (P = 0.0078) and from 74.6 ± 2.5% to 68.2 ± 2.8% (P = 0.0054) with the bitter and the salty taste, respectively. Stimulation with sweet, salty, or sour taste evoked a significant decrease in the high frequency component of the HRV, whereas bitter taste did not affect the SPB. Conclusions: Oral stimulation with tastes subjectively perceived as unpleasant brings about disturbances of the interdigestive GMA. This, however, does not coincide with its effect upon SPB.

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