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Influence of a high-protein diet on energy balance in obese cats allowed ad libitum access to food.

  • Author(s): Wei, A
  • Fascetti, AJ
  • Liu, KJ
  • Villaverde, C
  • Green, AS
  • Manzanilla, EG
  • Havel, PJ
  • Ramsey, JJ
  • et al.

The influence of a high-protein [HP, 47% of metabolizable energy (ME)] diet on energy balance was evaluated in obese cats allowed ad libitum access to food. Energy intake, body weight, body composition, energy expenditure, and concentrations of hormones and metabolites associated with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (glucose, insulin, free fatty acids, triglycerides and leptin) were measured in cats after consuming either a moderate protein (MP, 27% of ME) or HP diet for 4 months. Indirect respiration calorimetry showed that resting and total energy expenditure (kJ/day) adjusted for either body weight or lean body mass was increased in cats consuming the HP in relation to MP diets. However, voluntary energy intake also was increased in the HP treatment and, thus, there was no difference in body weight between animals consuming the two diets. Body composition measurements using deuterium oxide dilution showed that dietary protein content did not alter amounts of either lean body mass or fat mass. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between the two treatment groups for blood glucose, free fatty acid or leptin concentrations, although there was a trend (p = 0.054) towards an increase of serum insulin concentrations in the cats eating the HP diet. This study showed that short-term ad libitum feeding of an HP diet did not reduce food intake or promote weight loss in obese cats. However, energy expenditure was increased in the HP diet group and it is possible that this effect of HP might help promote weight loss when energy intake is restricted.

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