Lysine deficiency alters diet selection without depressing food intake in rats

Brian J. Hrupka, Yumei Lin, Dorothy W. Gietzen, Quinton Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Under states of protein deficiency, the dietary limiting amino acid, rather than protein content, can act as the dietary stimulus to control diet selection. If fact, threonine-deficient rats will alter their diet selection patterns solely on the basis of very small changes (0.009 g/100 g) in the dietary threonine concentration. In these studies, we assessed whether lysine-deficient rats will also alter their diet selection patterns on the basis of small changes in dietary Lys concentration. In all experiments, growing rats were adapted to diets in which the protein fraction (purified amino acids or wheat gluten) was limiting in Lys. They were then given a choice between the adaptation diet (AD) diet and a slightly more deficient diet. Rats that were adapted to a Lys-deficient diet (0.25 g Lys/100 g) selected their AD over diets containing as little as 0.01% less Lys (P < 0.01) within 5 d. To determine how deficient rats must be before they alter their selection patterns, rats were adapted to diets containing various levels of Lys, i.e., 2 levels below the requirement for growth and 2 levels above the requirement for growth, but below the requirement for maximal nitrogen retention. Only rats adapted to diets containing Lys below their requirement for growth selected their AD over a diet containing 0.05% less Lys (P < 0.005). Finally, to determine whether rats will alter their selection to whole protein-based diets, rats were adapted to 25% wheat gluten diets supplemented with 0.03-0.21% Lys. Rats selected the AD over a diet containing as little as 0.09% less supplemental Lys by d 4 of the trial (P < 0.05). We conclude that rats are sensitive to changes as small as 0.01% in dietary Lys concentration, but that sensitivity requires prior adaptation to Lys-deficient diets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume129
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 16 1999
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Amino acid requirements
  • Deficiency
  • Diet selection
  • Food intake
  • Lysine
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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