We investigated the effect of acarbose, an alpha -glucosidase and pancreatic alpha -amylase inhibitor, on gastric emptying of solid meals of varying nutrient composition and plasma responses of gut hormones. Gastric emptying was determined with scintigraphy in healthy subjects, and all studies were performed with and without 100 mg of acarbose, in random order, at least 1 wk apart. Acarbose did not alter the emptying of a carbohydrate-free meal, but it delayed emptying of a mixed meal and a carbohydrate-free meal given 2 h after sucrose ingestion. In meal groups with carbohydrates, acarbose attenuated responses of plasma insulin and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) while augmenting responses of CCK, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and peptide YY (PYY). With mixed meal + acarbose, area under the curve (AUC) of gastric emptying was positively correlated with integrated plasma response of GLP-1 (r=0.68, P<0.02). With the carbohydrate-free meal after sucrose and acarbose ingestion, AUC of gastric emptying was negatively correlated with integrated plasma response of GIP, implying that prior alteration of carbohydrate absorption modifies gastric emptying of a meal. The results demonstrate that acarbose delays gastric emptying of solid meals and augments release of CCK, GLP-1, and PYY mainly by retarding/inhibiting carbohydrate absorption. Augmented GLP-1 release by acarbose appears to play a major role in the inhibition of gastric emptying of a mixed meal, whereas CCK and PYY may have contributory roles.