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Int J Obes (Lond). 2009 Mar;33(3):364-72. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2008.281. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Multivitamin supplementation of Wistar rats during pregnancy accelerates the development of obesity in offspring fed an obesogenic diet.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto, 150 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



The effect of gestational multivitamin supplementation on the development of obesity in rat offspring fed an obesogenic diet was investigated.


Pregnant Wistar rats (n=10 per group) were fed the AIN-93G diet with the recommended vitamin (RV) content or a 10-fold increase (high vitamin, HV). At weaning, 10 males and 10 females, from separate dams, and from each gestational diet group were weaned to the liquid obesogenic diet for 48 weeks post-weaning.


Body weight (BW) was measured weekly, and food intake over 24 h was measured once every 3 weeks for 24 weeks. Every 4 weeks, after an overnight fast, food intake over 1 h was measured 30 min after a gavage of water or glucose. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was carried out every 3-5 weeks. Post-weaning fasting glucose, insulin, ghrelin, glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) were measured.


No difference in BW at birth or litter size was observed. Males and females from HV dams gained 17% (P<0.05) and 37% (P<0.001) more BW at 48 weeks post-weaning, and consumed 18% (P=0.07) and 20% (P<0.05) more food. One-hour food intake after water and glucose preloads was 27% (P<0.01) and 34% (P<0.05) higher in males from HV dams. Fasting ghrelin and GLP-1 were 27 and 32% higher in males from HV dams at weaning (P<0.05). Blood glucose response to the OGTT was greater in both males and females from HV dams at 13 weeks post-weaning (P<0.05), and the insulin resistance index was 76 and 43% higher in females from HV dams at 14 and 28 weeks post-weaning (P<0.05). SBP was 23 and 16% higher at 44 weeks post-weaning in male and females (P<0.01).


High multivitamin intake during pregnancy increases the phenotypic expression of obesity and components of the metabolic syndrome in both female and male rats fed an obesogenic diet.

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