No modulation of postprandial metabolism by tVNS

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No modulation of postprandial metabolism by transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation: a cross-over study in 15 healthy men.

Abstract
Experimental evidence suggests a crucial role of the autonomic nervous system in whole body metabolism with major regulatory effects of the parasympathetic branch in postprandial adaptation. However, the relative contribution of this mechanism is still not fully clear in humans. We therefore compared the effects of transcutaneous auricular vagus nerve stimulation (taVNS, Cerbomed Nemos) with sham stimulation during an oral glucose tolerance test in a randomized, single-blind, cross-over design in 15 healthy lean men. Stimulation was performed for 150 min, 30 min before and during the entire oral glucose tolerance test with stimulation cycles of 30 s of on-phase and 30 s of off-phase and a 25 Hz impulse. Heart rate variability and plasma catecholamine levels were assessed as proxies of autonomic tone in the periphery. Neither analyzed heart rate variability parameters nor plasma catecholamine levels were significantly different between the two conditions. Plasma glucose, insulin sensitivity and insulin secretion were also comparable between conditions. Thus, the applied taVNS device or protocol was unable to achieve significant effects on autonomic innervation in peripheral organs. Accordingly, glucose metabolism remained unaltered. Therefore, alternative approaches are necessary to investigate the importance of the autonomic nervous system in postprandial human metabolism.

PMID: 33235256 [PubMed – in process]

Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 24;10(1):20466

Authors: Vosseler A, Zhao D, Fritsche L, Lehmann R, Kantartzis K, Small DM, Peter A, Häring HU, Birkenfeld AL, Fritsche A, Wagner R, Preißl H, Kullmann S, Heni M

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