Julie Wu, M.Sc. Biology 2013

Effect of fermentation rate of dietary fibre on short-term satiety, long-term food intake and gut hormone response in male rats


As obesity rates increased worldwide, nutritional strategies to reduce food intake as a weight management tool have gained much attention. Studies showed that dietary fibre can be protective against weight gain through fermentation that influences gut hormone levels to increase satiety and reduce food intake. Macronutrient-induced satiety to reduce meal size has also received a great interest. This study aimed to investigate the effects of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein, fat) and fibres (different fermentation rates) on satiety, corresponding hormone responses (insulin, ghrelin, glucagon-likepeptide-1, peptide YY), and their relationships with food intake and body weight in rats. I found that diet containing fructooligosaccharides led to reduced long term food intake, weight gain and fat mass whereas wheat bran promoted food intake with unaffected weight gain. Both fructooligosaccharides and oil were associated with significantly lower food consumption and higher circulating PYY. My data suggested that satiety regulation is complex and can be strain-dependent.