Assessing the Analgesic Effects of Sucrose to Cold Pressor Pain in Human Adults


Previous studies report that the ingestion of highly concentrated sweet solutions produces a morphine-like analgesia in rats, human infants, and in adult males. To determine whether sweet-induced analgesia occurs with more commonly consumed substances, 30 adult males (Mage = 22.4 years) were exposed to a cold pressor test and pain responsivity was assessed both before and after consuming either an 8% sucrose solution, water, or nothing. Between-groups comparisons revealed that relative to the Sucrose or Nothing groups, the Water group showed increased pain tolerance. Neither pain thresholds nor ratings of pain intensity and unpleasantness on a visual analogue scale differed among groups. The results support previous findings in both humans and animals that the palatability or hedonic value of food or drink may be the key predictor of its analgesic effect.

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M. Mercer and M. Holder, "Assessing the Analgesic Effects of Sucrose to Cold Pressor Pain in Human Adults," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 3 No. 1, 2013, pp. 7-12. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.31002.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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