Mastication and Gut Hormones—Are There Any Associations?
Purpose of Review
The human gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestine, and pancreas) secretes more than 20 different hormones. These hormones influence many physiological processes and may contribute to the risk of developing several chronic diseases. Consequently, a better understanding of the factors that influence their secretion and action may lead to a new approach in preventing or treating chronic disease. Several factors are known to influence the gut hormone response including the macronutrient content or the physical characteristics of the ingested meal. However, despite having a major role in the digestion of foods, the influence of mastication on the gut hormones has gained little attention. This brief review will discuss the limited number of studies that have been conducted and make suggestions for further research in this area.
At this time, limited research has been conducted to determine the influence of mastication on the gut hormone response. While emerging evidence suggests that mastication may contribute to the gut hormone response, the current studies do not isolate the effect of mastication from other factors such as differences in the particle size of the swallowed bolus. Consequently, they do not unambiguously indicate that mastication directly influences the gut hormone response. There are several theoretical reasons why mastication would influence the gut hormone response and further research is required.
If there is an influence of mastication on the gut hormone response, then inter-individual differences in mastication may contribute to the risk of some chronic diseases. Moreover, the impact of impaired mastication, due to tooth loss or aging, on the gut hormone response requires elucidation as these groups may be at increased risk of chronic disease or poor body weight due to changes in the satiation or satiety response.
KeywordsMastication Gut hormones Satiation Satiety Disease
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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