Deleterious effects of a cafeteria diet on the livers of non-obese rats

MacQueen, Hilary A.; Sadler, Dawn A.; Moore, Sharon A.; Daya, Sandeep; Brown, Jacqueline Y.; Shuker, David E.G.; Seaman, Michael and Wassif, Wassif S. (2007). Deleterious effects of a cafeteria diet on the livers of non-obese rats. Nutrition Research, 27(1) pp. 38–47.



Rats were fed from weaning on three diets. Those fed a cafeteria diet had livers that were enlarged and abnormal by visual inspection. The rats themselves appeared healthy, had a normal growth rate and were not significantly different in weight from control animals. Histological examination revealed the livers of these rats to be rich in lipids and glycogen. Liver function tests showed a depressed level of alanine transaminase and an abnormal HDL: LDL. Dietary lipids generate free radicals which can interact with, and damage, DNA. However, when DNA was extracted from the livers and examined for the presence of the adduct M1-dG, there were no significant differences in adduct levels in livers from animals fed any of the diets. We conclude that the cafeteria diet can have long term adverse effects on liver function even though overt measures of health may be unimpaired, body mass maintained within normal limits, and liver DNA not adversely affected.

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