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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Nutrition

Increasing Protein at the Expense of Carbohydrate in the Diet Down-Regulates Glucose Utilization as Glucose Sparing Effect in Rats
Published: Monday, February 07, 2011
Author: Magdalena Stepien et al.

by Magdalena Stepien, Claire Gaudichon, Gilles Fromentin, Patrick Even, Daniel Tomé, Dalila Azzout-Marniche

High protein (HP) diet could serve as a good strategy against obesity, provoking the changes in energy metabolic pathways. However, those modifications differ during a dietary adaptation. To better understand the mechanisms involved in effect of high protein diet (HP) on limiting adiposity in rats we studied in parallel the gene expression of enzymes involved in protein and energy metabolism and the profiles of nutrients oxidation. Eighty male Wistar rats were fed a normal protein diet (NP, 14% of protein) for one week, then either maintained on NP diet or assigned to a HP diet (50% of protein) for 1, 3, 6 and 14 days. mRNA levels of genes involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism were measured in liver, adipose tissues, kidney and muscles by real time PCR. Energy expenditure (EE) and substrate oxidation were measured by indirect calorimetry. Liver glycogen and plasma glucose and hormones were assayed. In liver, HP feeding 1) decreased mRNA encoding glycolysis enzymes (GK, L-PK) and lipogenesis enzymes(ACC, FAS), 2) increased mRNA encoding gluconeogenesis enzymes (PEPCK), 3) first lowered, then restored mRNA encoding glycogen synthesis enzyme (GS), 4) did not change mRNA encoding ß-oxidation enzymes (CPT1, ACOX1, ßHAD). Few changes were seen in other organs. In parallel, indirect calorimetry confirmed that following HP feeding, glucose oxidation was reduced and fat oxidation was stable, except during the 1st day of adaptation where lipid oxidation was increased. Finally, this study showed that plasma insulin was lowered and hepatic glucose uptake was decreased. Taken together, these results demonstrate that following HP feeding, CHO utilization was increased above the increase in carbohydrate intake while lipogenesis was decreased thus giving a potential explanation for the fat lowering effect of HP diets.
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