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Am J Physiol. 1999 Jul;277(1):R279-85. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1999.277.1.R279.

Reduced sensitivity to the satiation effect of intestinal oleate in rats adapted to high-fat diet.

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Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, and Program in Neuroscience, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164, USA.


When rats are maintained on high-fat diets, digestive processes adapt to provide for more efficient digestion and absorption of this nutrient. Furthermore, rats fed high-fat diets tend to consume more calories and gain more weight than rats on a low-fat diet. We hypothesized that, in addition to adaptation of digestive processes, high-fat maintenance diets might result in reduction of sensitivity to the satiating effects of fat digestion products, which inhibit food intake by activating sensory fibers in the small intestine. To test this hypothesis we measured food intake after intestinal infusion of oleic acid or the oligosaccharide maltotriose in rats maintained on a low-fat diet or one of three high-fat diets. We found that rats fed high-fat diets exhibited diminished sensitivity to satiation by intestinal infusion of oleic acid. Sensitivity to the satiation effect of intestinal maltotriose infusion did not differ between groups maintained on the various diets. Reduced sensitivity to oleate infusion was specifically dependent on fat content of the diet and was not influenced by the dietary fiber or carbohydrate content. These results indicate that diets high in fat reduce the ability of fat to inhibit further food intake. Such changes in sensitivity to intestinal fats might contribute to the increased food intake and obesity that occur with high-fat diet regimens.

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