Kittens choose a high leucine diet even when isoleucine and valine are the limiting amino acids

D. M. Hargrove, James Morris, Quinton Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This study was conducted to determine the effect of excess leucine on the dietary choice of kittens. The basal diets contained 16% (low nitrogen) or 24% (adequate nitrogen) amino acids and were limiting in isoleucine and valine. The addition of leucine to either of these basal diets has been shown to cause a transitory adverse effect on the growth and food intake of kittens. In separate experiments each basal diet was used to test three sets of choices: basal vs. basal + 10% leucine; basal + alanine vs. basal + leucine (isonitrogenous) and basal vs. basal + alanine. When offered basal vs. basal + excess leucine, the kittens chose significantly more of the excess leucine diet regardless of the level of nitrogen in the basal diet. When offered an isonitrogenous choice of excess alanine vs. excess leucine, the kittens selected somewhat more of the excess leucine diets over the excess alanine diets; this selection was sustained longer in kittens fed low nitrogen. In the third choice experiment (basal vs. basal + alanine), the group offered the low nitrogen diets exhibited no preferences, and the group offered adequate-nitrogen diets selected significantly more of the excess alanine diet. These results for kittens are opposite to those for rats, a species that will select a low protein basal or even a protein-free diet over a diet containing excess leucine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)689-693
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Kittens choose a high leucine diet even when isoleucine and valine are the limiting amino acids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this