Using iButtons® to measure pre- and post-prandial changes in liver temperature

Sarah E. Coffey, R L Griggs, Jeff M Brunstrom, Danielle Ferriday, Peter J Rogers, Mike Halliwell, Charlotte A Hardman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Consumption of food triggers a series of physiological responses that serve to optimise digestion, absorption and use of the ingested nutrients. These responses can also be conditioned, so can be elicited by cues that previously predicted food intake. Increased blood flow to the liver is one such response; however, the changes that occur pre- and post-prandially are not well-understood in humans. This may be due, in part, to a lack of appropriate measurement tools. For the first time, the current study used wireless temperature monitoring devices, known as iButtons®, as a proxy measure of blood flow to the liver. Lean, female participants (N = 22) were fitted with iButtons, which were placed in the vicinity of the liver using ultrasonography. In a within-subjects design, continuous measures of liver temperature were taken in separate test sessions that consisted of (i) a food-consumption condition, (ii) an exposure-only condition, and (iii) a no-food control condition. Results indicated that, approximately 20 min after food consumption, there was a marked and significant increase in liver temperature. These findings confirm the efficacy of iButtons as a non-invasive measure of body temperature changes that are associated with food intake. They also open up several avenues for future research that could capitalise on this technique in order to examine conditioned changes in body temperature and the impact of inconsistent flavour-nutrient associations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAppetite
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013

Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Nutrition and Behaviour


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