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Alcohol. 1991 Jul-Aug;8(4):313-6.

Fat-preferring rats consume more alcohol than carbohydrate-preferring rats.

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Eating Disorders Program, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0116.


Rats with a genetic preference for alcohol (ETOH) have been found to consume more dietary fat then ETOH nonpreferring rats. We therefore hypothesized that rats selected on the basis of fat and carbohydrate (CHO) preferences would differ in ETOH intake. Patterns of macronutrient self-selection were determined by allowing rats to select diets from separate sources of CHO, fat and protein. Subsequently, CHO- and fat-preferring groups were formed. All rats were then returned to a lab chow diet and trained to drink ETOH (4-12%) during one hour of access per day. Food restriction was used only in the first three weeks of the procedure. On the final drinking sessions, water and ETOH were alternated on a daily basis. Fat-preferring rats consumed significantly more ETOH than water; CHO-preferring rats consumed approximately equal amounts of ETOH and water. Furthermore, fat-preferring rats consumed more ETOH than CHO-preferring rats. This study suggests that there may be a common mechanism underlying diet preference and oral intake of ETOH.

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