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J Dent Res. 2003 Jun;82(6):491-4.

Food texture differences affect energy metabolism in rats.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Kyushu University Faculty of Dental Science, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan.


Dietary factors such as taste and nutrients are known to affect satiety and energy balance. We hypothesized that food texture might contribute to the regulation of energy metabolism through the process of mastication in the oral cavity as well. The effects of long-term feeding of different-textured pellets on body weight gain, adiposity, and thermogenesis were assessed. From weaning at 4 wks, rats were divided into 2 groups fed on either standard (controls) or soft pellets (soft-fed) that required less chewing with the same nutritional composition. At 26 wks, the soft-fed rats showed greater adiposity than did the controls. Daily food intake did not differ between the 2 groups. The increase in body temperature following feeding was significantly lower in the soft-fed rats. These results suggested that food texture affected energy metabolism by changing post-prandial thermogenesis. The long-term deficiency of thermogenesis associated with soft foods resulted in a greater tendency toward obesity.

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