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Metabolism. 1984 Jan;33(1):26-33.

Effects of dietary carbohydrate, fat, and protein on norepinephrine turnover in rats.


To investigate effects of diet composition on rates of norepinephrine (NE) turnover in sympathetically innervated organs, weaning rats were fed for 2 to 21/2 weeks diets varying in carbohydrate (74.2% to 7.4% of total metabolizable energy) and fat (5.2% to 72.0%), or diets varying in protein (9.9% to 39.6%) and carbohydrate (77.8% to 48.1%). Changing the proportions of carbohydrate and fat in the diet, while maintaining similar intakes of energy and all other essential nutrients did not affect rates of NE turnover in heart, white adipose tissue (WAT), liver or pancreas and only minimally affected NE turnover in interscapular brown adipose tissue (IBAT). Decreasing the proportion of protein in the diet from 39.6% to 9.9% accelerated rats of NE turnover in heart (52%), IBAT (20%), WAT (42%), and liver (37%). When rats fed a diet containing 19.8% protein were also given a 10%(wt/vol) sucrose solution to drink for three days, their rates of NE turnover increased in heart (45%), IBAT (17%), liver (71%), and pancreas (55%). This response to sucrose depended on the protein content of the diet, since rats fed a 9.9% protein diet in which rates of NE turnover was already accelerated had no further increase in NE turnover when given the sucrose solution to drink. These data demonstrate that diet composition can affect activity of the sympathetic nervous system, as indicated by changes in rates of NE turnover. Changing the proportion of protein in the diet was more effective in altering NE turnover than changing the proportion of carbohydrate or fat.

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