International Journal of Basic, Applied and Innovative Research

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Rates of gastric emptying and small intestinal motility in pregnant rats fed essentially carbohydrate diet

H.O. Otamere, A.E. Ojieh, M.O. Ujaddughe, I.O. Ernest-Nwoke


This study investigated the effect of essentially carbohydrate diet (cooked mashed yam) on gastric emptying and small  intestinal motility rates in pregnancy. It involved 24 female Wistar rats weighing between 180 to 200gand randomly  assigned to four groups. Groups I and II served as the control (non-pregnant rats)fed normal rat chow and essentially  carbohydrate diet respectively, while Groups III and IV served as test animals(pregnant rats) fed essentially carbohydrate  diet in early and late gestation periods respectively. Gastric emptying and small intestinal motility rates were determined in  early and late gestation periods using standard laboratory procedures and the values obtained were compared with those of  the control groups. Results showed that gastric emptying was significantly higher (p<0.05) in group 2 compared to other  groups, while small intestinal motility rate was significantly reduced (p<0.05) in group II compared to groups I and III but  not significant (p>0.05) with group IV. The findings of this study, suggests that gastric emptying can be inhibited as small intestinal motility is enhanced following the ingestion of essentially carbohydrate; indicating that the nature of food  substance and possibly, pregnancy hormones, may account for these modulations.

Keywords: Carbohydrate diet, Pregnancy, Gastric emptying, Small intestinal motility

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