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Biopsychosoc Med. 2013 Feb 18;7(1):6. doi: 10.1186/1751-0759-7-6.

A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled crossover trial on the effects of L-ornithine on salivary cortisol and feelings of fatigue of flushers the morning after alcohol consumption.

Author information

1
Developmental Research Group, Functional Food Business Project, Kirin Holdings Company, Limited, 1-13-5 Fukuura Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan. Takeshi_Kokubo@kirin.co.jp.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Residual alcohol effects on physiological and psychological symptoms are commonly experienced the morning after alcohol consumption. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of L-ornithine on subjective feelings and salivary stress markers the morning after alcohol consumption and to investigate whether L-ornithine acutely accelerates ethanol metabolism.

METHODS:

This study had a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked crossover design. Subjects were all healthy Japanese adults with the 'flusher' phenotype for alcohol tolerance. In experiment 1, 11 subjects drank 0.4 g/kg body weight alcohol 1.5 h before their usual bedtime. Half an hour after drinking, they ingested either a placebo or 400 mg ornithine. The next morning on awakening, subjects completed a questionnaire containing a visual analog scale (VAS), the Oguri-Shirakawa-Azumi sleep inventory MA version (OSA-MA), and a profile of mood states (POMS) and collected a saliva sample for measurement of salivary stress markers (cortisol, secretory immunoglobulin A, and α-amylase). In experiment 2, placebo or 400 mg ornithine were administrated to 16 subjects both before and after drinking, and the feeling of drunkenness, breath ethanol concentration and one-leg standing time were repeatedly investigated until 180 min after alcohol consumption.

RESULTS:

There were significant decreases in "awareness", "feeling of fatigue" and "lassitude" VAS scores and in "anger-hostility" and "confusion" POMS scores and a significant increase in "sleep length" in the OSA-MA test. Salivary cortisol concentrations on awakening were reduced after ornithine supplementation. There were no differences between ornithine and placebo in any of the subjective or physiological parameters of acute alcohol metabolism.

CONCLUSIONS:

Taking 400 mg ornithine after alcohol consumption improved various negative feelings and decreased the salivary stress marker cortisol the next morning. These effects were not caused by an increase in acute alcohol metabolism.

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