We studied the effects of xylitol, the pentose-sugar alcohol, on gastric emptying of the solid-food component of a complex meal. Gastric emptying was measured in human volunteers by utilizing a standardized radiolabeled scrambled-egg meal. After ingestion of 25 g xylitol, gastric emptying was markedly prolonged (T- 1/2 58 ± 5 min control vs 91 ± 7 min after xylitol [P < 0.01]). Since delayed gastric emptying may affect food intake, we evaluated the effects of xylitol on calorie intake. Food intake after oral preloading with water resulted in intake of 920 ± 60 kcal vs 690 ± 45 kcal after 25 g of xylitol. In contrast, a preload of glucose, fructose, or sucrose failed to suppress food intake. Although xylitol decreased food intake and also delayed gastric emptying, these effects may be unrelated. Our data suggest a role for xylitol as a potentially important agent in dietary control.