Bitter Compounds Decrease Gastric Emptying and Influence Intestinal Nutrient Transport
The effect of bitter tasting compounds on gastric emptying and nutrient transport from the intestine was studied using in vivo and ex vivo models. Sixteen pigs were fed a diet containing the bitter compound phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). The animals were euthanized 45 minutes postprandially and gastric contents were measured to quantify the gastric retention. Additionally, freshly isolated small intestines were mounted into modified Ussing chambers to study the effects of PTC on ex vivo nutrient transport. In summary, bitter compounds decreased the gastric emptying in vivo and increased the nutrient transport ex vivo. Further, cell culture studies identified that bitter compounds might exert their action through stimulating the secretion of the intestinal hormone cholecystokinin (CCK) from the enteroendocrine cells by increasing the intracellular calcium concentrations. Altogether, these data suggest that bitter compounds regulate feed intake and nutrient transport.