Orocecal transit during mild exercise in women

W. F. Keeling, A. Harris, B. J. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Little is known of the influence of exercise on movement of ingested food through the alimentary tract or of the association of several gastrointestinal hormones with transit rate in exercise. In this study, orocecal transit during mild exercise was measured in 21 women by detecting a rise in expired H2 after ingestion of 20 g lactulose in a 350-ml (360 kcal) liquid meal. Motilin, gastrin, and cortisol were measured in peripheral venous blood when, as evidenced by a breath H2 rise, the first portion of the meal arrived at the cecum. Comparison was made between seated rest and a treadmill walk at 5.6 km/h up a 2% grade. The walk predictably elevated heart rate, O2 uptake, and rectal temperature and also reduced transit time from 98 min at rest to 75 min during exercise (P<0.001). Faster transit in exercise was associated with a significant rise in cortisol, while gastrin and motilin levels were both unchanged. In conclusion, in women mild concurrent exercise accelerates orocecal transit rate of at least the first portion of nonabsorbable carbohydrate in a liquid meal. Although the mechanism for the effect remains unknown, it may be secondary to some aspect of the stress response to physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1350-1353
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


  • cortisol
  • exercise motilin
  • gastrin
  • gastrointestinal motility
  • hydrogen
  • lactulose
  • oxygen uptake
  • progesterone
  • transit time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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    Keeling, W. F., Harris, A., & Martin, B. J. (1990). Orocecal transit during mild exercise in women. Journal of Applied Physiology, 68(4), 1350-1353.