BACKGROUND/AIMS: Red pepper has long been used as a condiment in Korea. Capsaicin, the main ingredient of red pepper, is known to have an influence on gastric motility, but information about the effect of capsaicin on human gastric motility is somewhat controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of red pepper on gastric emptying in healthy volunteers. METHODS: Thirty healthy volunteers with the average age of 33+/-3.7 years old were included in this study. To evaluate the gastric emptying time, all of the volunteers underwent a radionuclide gastric emptying study after ingestion of a test meal that contained 1.5 g and 6 g of red pepper, respectively. We analyzed the parameters such as the gastric half emptying time (T1/2) and the percentage of gastric emptying (% GE), as were measured from the time activity curve that was based on the linear fit between the two test meals. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in % GE and T1/2 between the two test meals containing 1.5 g and 6 g of red pepper, respectively; 82.0+/-12.8% vs. 84.9+/-11.7% at 30 min, 71.0+/-13.8% vs. 73.9+/-11.1% at 60 min, 59.4+/-16.7% vs. 61.2+/-15.1% at 90 min and 48.2+/-17.1% vs. 48.7+/-14.7% at 120 min for the % GE, and 107.1+/-13.7 min vs. 115.8+/-15.8 min for the T1/2, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that individual differences for the amount of red pepper intake have no specific effect on the gastric emptying time.