Document Detail

Gastric emptying effects of dietary fiber during 8 hours at two simulated cabin altitudes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16491579     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: In a questionnaire survey, long-distance flying staff of a charter airline reported significantly more dyspeptic symptoms than did short-haul crewmember and ground personnel (belching: 57% vs. 37%, bloating: 51% vs. 36%). To elucidate the reason for increased frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms during long-distance flights, we investigated the effects of altitude and diet on gastric emptying, cardiovascular function, and bodily complaints. METHODS: In a 2 x 2 repeated measurement design we simulated an 8-h flight in a hypobaric chamber in 16 healthy men subjected to 2 meal conditions (high fiber vs. low fiber) on separate days, and assigned to either a flight altitude of 2500 m (8200 ft) or 1000 m (3280 ft). The subjects were blinded toward altitude. Heart rate and gastrointestinal symptoms were taken every hour, and gastric emptying was assessed by 13C-octanoic acid breath-test. In a separate experiment, we examined the effect of the two test meals (2 g vs. 20 g of fiber) in 30 healthy men under conventional laboratory conditions and found no significant differences. RESULTS: At an altitude of 2500 m, heart rate was significantly increased independent of the dietary condition. Gastric emptying (T1/2) was significantly delayed at 2500 m (8200 ft) when a high-fiber meal was given (146.3 +/- 58.4 min low fiber vs. 193.9 +/- 54.3 min high fiber). The symptom score for gastric distension (mean: 1.33 +/- 0.3 vs. mean: 1.07 +/- 0.15) and bloating (mean: 1.82 +/- 0.47 vs. mean: 1.34 +/- 0.35) were also significantly increased at 2500 m for the high-fiber meal compared with the low-fiber meal. CONCLUSIONS: Flight altitude is a physiological load. In combination with a high-fiber diet, this induces significant delays in gastric emptying that may explain symptoms of cabin and cockpit crew and passengers on long-distance flights.
Heidemarie Hinninghofen; Frauke Musial; Axel Kowalski; Paul Enck
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  77     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  2006 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-02-22     Completed Date:  2006-05-02     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  121-3     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Internal Medicine VI, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospitals Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Aerospace Medicine
Analysis of Variance
Atmospheric Pressure
Dietary Fiber / adverse effects*
Dyspepsia / etiology*
Gastric Emptying*
Heart Rate
Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
Regression Analysis
Single-Blind Method

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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