Effects of alcohol on autonomic responses and thermal sensation during cold exposure in humans

Tamae Yoda, Larry I. Crawshaw, Kumiko Saito, Mayumi Nakamura, Kei Nagashima, Kazuyuki Kanosue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the effects of alcohol on thermoregulatory responses and thermal sensations during cold exposure in humans. Eight healthy men (mean age 22.3 ± 0.7 year) participated in this study. Experiments were conducted twice for each subject at a room temperature of 18°C. After a 30-min resting period, the subject drank either 15% alcohol at a dose of 0.36 g/kg body weight (alcohol session) or an equal volume of distilled water (control session), and remained in a sitting position for another 60 min. Mean skin temperature continued to decrease and was similar in control and alcohol sessions. Metabolic rate was lower in the alcohol session, but the difference did not affect core temperature, which decreased in a similar manner in both alcohol and control sessions (from 36.9 ± 0.1°C to 36.6 ± 0.1°C). Whole body sensations of cold and thermal discomfort became successively stronger in the control session, whereas these sensations were both greatly diminished after drinking alcohol. In a previous study we performed in the heat, using a similar protocol, alcohol produced a definite, coordinated effect on all autonomic and sentient heat loss effectors. In the current study in the cold, as compared to responses in the heat, alcohol intake was followed by lesser alterations in autonomic effector responses, but increased changes in sensations of temperature and thermal discomfort. Overall, our results indicate that although alcohol influences thermoregulation in the cold as well as in the heat, detailed aspects of the influence are quite different.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol
Volume42
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May

Fingerprint

Hot Temperature
alcohol
Alcohols
heat
Temperature
Skin Temperature
Body Temperature Regulation
Posture
body weight
Alcohol Drinking
Heat losses
Skin
Body Weight
Water
water
experiment

Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Cold exposure
  • Human
  • Thermal sensation
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

Cite this

Effects of alcohol on autonomic responses and thermal sensation during cold exposure in humans. / Yoda, Tamae; Crawshaw, Larry I.; Saito, Kumiko; Nakamura, Mayumi; Nagashima, Kei; Kanosue, Kazuyuki.

In: Alcohol, Vol. 42, No. 3, 05.2008, p. 207-212.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yoda, Tamae ; Crawshaw, Larry I. ; Saito, Kumiko ; Nakamura, Mayumi ; Nagashima, Kei ; Kanosue, Kazuyuki. / Effects of alcohol on autonomic responses and thermal sensation during cold exposure in humans. In: Alcohol. 2008 ; Vol. 42, No. 3. pp. 207-212.
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