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Int J Mol Sci. 2008 Apr;9(4):464-75. Epub 2008 Apr 2.

Effect of dietary protein level and origin on the redox status in the digestive tract of mice.

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Jiangnan University, Wuxi, P R China.


The present study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of high protein (soybean protein or casein) on the balance between production of free radicals and antioxidant level in digestive organs of mice. For this purpose, male (C57BL/6J) mice were adapted to experimental diets containing soybean protein or casein with 20% (normal protein diets, NPDs) or 60% (high protein diets, HPDs), and HPDs supplemented with 0.06 g/kg cysteamine. After two weeks of feeding, oxidative and antioxidative parameters in duodenum, liver and pancreas were measured. The results show that ingestion of high protein markedly increased contents of superoxide anion and malondialdehyde (MDA), decreased activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), catalase (CAT) and Na(+) K(+)-ATPase, and content of reduced glutathione (GSH) in digestive organs of mice (P<0.05). Levels of oxidative parameters were lower and antioxidant capacity of both enzyme and non-enzyme was higher in mice fed with soybean protein than those fed with casein. In groups fed HPDs supplemented with cysteamine, oxidative stress was mitigated. However, oxidative parameter levels were still higher than those of NPD-fed groups. The present study indicates that ingestion of high protein diets could result in an imbalance between oxidant and antioxidant, and thus induce oxidative stress in digestive organs of mice. The oxidative damage was smaller in mice fed with high level of soy protein in comparison with casein.


Digestive organs; High protein diet; Mice; Oxidative stress; Soybean protein


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