THE IMPACT OF MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES ON ENERGY INTAKE, ADIPOSITY, AND HIPPOCAMPAL BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPIC FACTOR IN AD LIBITUM AND PAIR-FED RAT MODELS OF HIGH-FAT-DIET-INDUCED OBESITY
thesisposted on 2022-04-19, 14:56 authored by Brent Benjamin BachmanBrent Benjamin Bachman
Dietary intervention remains a popular, albeit challenging, approach for combating obesity. In recent years, dietary interventions that increase consumption of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) instead of long-chain triglycerides (LCT) have gained attention. Pre-clinical research has demonstrated that rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD) induce adiposity, but a dietary shift from LCT to MCT suppresses this effect. To date, the extent to which this effect operates via suppressed hyperphagia is not fully understood. In the present study, we sought to determine how consuming a HFD composed of different fat types affects energy intake, adiposity, and hippocampal brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) levels. Rats were assigned to one of four diet groups – rat chow (CHOW), LCT-enriched HFD (LCT-HFD), MCT-enriched HFD (MCT-HFD), or coconut oil-enriched HFD (COCO-HFD), which composes a mixture of LCT and MCT. In Experiment 1, all animals were given ad libitum access to their assigned diet, whereas in Experiments 2 and 3, HFD-subjects were pair-fed to CHOW to prohibit hyperphagia. In Experiments 1 and 2, subjects were aged 20-24 weeks, whereas in Experiment 3, subjects were aged 10-11 weeks. Across experiments, we found that the effect of MCT consumption on suppressing HFD-induced adiposity is causally related to suppressed HFD-induced hyperphagia. Additionally, we failed to detect an effect of HFD consumption on hippocampal BDNF. Therefore, our findings did not support or oppose the hypothesis that MCT consumption attenuates HFD-induced BDNF deficiency. Future studies should focus on determining the causal relationship between MCT consumption, energy expenditure, and HFD-induced adiposity.