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Effect of oral sucrose on pain perception among young adults

Elavarasi Sivakumar P, Roopa S.


Background: Among tastes, the sweetness is associated with a pleasurable experience. Sucrose, the monosaccharide, has a sweet and pleasant taste. Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with an actual or potential damage. It motivates the individuals to withdraw from the damaging situation, thereby protecting the corresponding body part. Cold pressor test is generally used to measure the associated changes in various cardiovascular parameters. Cold pressor test can also be used to measure pain threshold and pain tolerance.

Aim and Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effect of oral sucrose on time taken for pain perception and pain tolerance among young adults.

Materials and Methods: This interventional study was carried out among 400 adult male students. Out of the 400 students, 200 students were subjects, and 200 students were controls. Institutional Ethical Committee Clearance was obtained before the conduction of the study. All the students were instructed to perform cold pressor test using 4°C cold water. Thereafter, the subjects were given oral sucrose and the controls were not. Once again, all the students were instructed to repeat the cold pressor test.

Results: The mean duration of pain perception before and after oral sucrose was 13.5 ± 7.3 s and 21.2 ± 15 s, respectively. Pain tolerance before and after oral sucrose was 41.3±28.1 s and 64.3±59.9 s, respectively.

Conclusion: The study results suggest that the time taken between the pain onset and the pain tolerance was longer when the subjects held sucrose than when they held nothing in their mouth.

Key words: Cold Pressor Test; Sucrose; Pain

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