Voluntary alcohol drinking & caloric intake in rats exposed to crowding stress

H. S. Nagaraja, P. S. Jeganathan

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Background & objectives: Alcohol intake in animals is regulated in much the same way as intake of food. The effect of alcohol on feeding behaviour is not well documented. The objective of this study was to test whether alcohol was ingested as a source of calories after crowding stress in rats. Methods: Male albino rats were exposed to crowding stress continuously for two weeks and the effect of stress on the body weight, food intake, voluntary alcohol consumption and caloric intake in terms of food and alcohol was studied. Results: A significant decrease in the body weight was seen after one (P<0.05), 7 and 14 days (P<0.01) of stress compared to controls. Food intake decreased significantly (P<0.01) after one day of stress and there was recovery after 7 days stress. Absolute alcohol intake (g/kg body weight) increased significantly (P<0.001) after one day of stress. Prolonged stress for two weeks significantly (P<0.01) increased the alcohol consumption. Total caloric intake in stressed rats decreased significantly (P<0.001) after acute stress. After 14 days, stressed rats showed significant (P<0.001) increase in total caloric intake compared to day one. Interpretation & conclusion: Crowding stress decreased the body weight gain throughout the period of stress. Chronic stress for two weeks increased the voluntary alcohol consumption and total caloric intake. Food intake alone seemed insufficient to provide the extra demand of energy due to prolonged stress and hence, the rats may be drinking increasing amounts of alcohol (when provided) to supply the extra energy required to combat stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-116
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Medical Research
Issue numberSEPT.
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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