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Obes Res. 1995 Nov;3(6):521-30.

Long-term weight cycling in female Wistar rats: effects on metabolism.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA.


Weight cycling (WC) induced by ad-lib and restricted high fat (HF) feeding has been shown to reduce final body weight but not body fat percent in female Wistar rats. We examined the metabolic consequences of this type of WC. Five groups of female Wistar rats were fed a HF diet and the sixth group was fed a low fat diet to serve as a control group. Of the five HF groups, four groups were weight cycled by ad-lib and restricted feeding of the HF diet. One of these groups weight cycled three times (HFCYC group) while the remaining three groups weight cycled once only, corresponding to the first, second and the third cycle of the HFCYC group. HF feeding induced hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, insulin resistance and elevated adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase (AT-LPL) activity levels as compared to rats fed the low fat (LF) control diet. WC further increased blood insulin concentrations and insulin resistance in rats with three cycles of WC. However, blood pressure was not affected by HF feeding or WC. The magnitude of increase of AT-LPL was reduced in weight cycled, HF fed obese rats after 15 weeks refeeding. We concluded that even though WC did not enhance weight gain nor impair weight loss, it did facilitate the development of insulin resistance and may predispose animals to diabetes.

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