Inhibitory effect of white wine on gastric myoelectrical activity and the role of vagal tone

Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Nov;47(11):2500-5. doi: 10.1023/a:1020560026051.


Although extensively investigated throughout the gastrointestinal tract, the influence of alcohol on gastric motility is still unclear. Our aim was to investigate the effect of wine on gastric myoelectrical activity and vagal activity. Ten healthy subjects were studied in two sessions with the electrogastrogram (EGG) for 30 min at baseline, 30 min after ingesting the test liquid [white wine (12.5% alcohol) or matched juice], and 60 min after a standard test meal. Spectral analysis was performed to compute EGG parameters and their postprandial changes. The vagal activity was assessed based on spectral analysis of the heart rate variability (HRV) signal derived from the ECG recording. White wine preload significantly diminished the postprandial increase in EGG dominant power compared to juice preload (1.16 +/- 1.57 vs 5.48 +/- 1.01 dB, P < 0.001). A significant decrease in vagal activity was observed after wine (23.40 +/- 4.30 vs 17.43 +/- 3.40%, P < 0.005), which remained unchanged after the test meal (23.40 +/- 4.30 vs 16.77 +/- 4.40%, P < 0.05). This decrease was not noted in the juice session. A correlation was established between changes after wine consumption in EGG dominant power and in the percentage of the vagal activity (r = 0.89, P < 0.05). In conclusion, white wine preload inhibits the postprandial EGG dominant power, suggesting a possible inhibition of postprandial gastric contractions. This effect may be associated with diminished vagal activity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrophysiology
  • Ethanol / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects*
  • Heart / innervation
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating
  • Postprandial Period / physiology
  • Stomach / drug effects
  • Stomach / physiology*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*
  • Wine*


  • Ethanol