Obesity Management Using Diacylglycerol and Low Glycemic Index Starch in Dogs



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Obesity is the most common nutritional disorder in small animal medicine and is closely related to the mortality and morbidity of various diseases. Decreasing the incidence of obesity is considered to be the most important way to maintain health, prevent disease, and contribute to longevity. Diet therapy using low glycemic index starch (LGIS) and diacylglycerol (DAG) may thus be a reasonable obesity management tool without unnecessary food restriction, forced physical activity, and impairment of health. Beagles were prepared for a weight loss study by inducing obesity using a high caloric/human snack food combination. These obese dogs were then fed diets containing either LGIS/HGIS and DAG/TAG for a 10 wk weight loss period. The LGIS groups lost more weight than the high glycemic index starch (HGIS) groups (2% vs 1% per wk) due to lower total diet digestibilities. Even though the dogs had consumed similar amounts of the diets on a weight basis, the amounts of metabolizable energy (ME) ingested overall differed between the two starch types. Diet effects were found for plasma triglyceride (TG) at both wk 1 and 8. Post-prandial TG lowering was observed only with a LGIS/DAG diet combination. LGIS groups showed less decreased post-prandial non esterified fatty acid (NEFA) concentrations compared with HGIS groups at both wk 1 and 8. At both wk 1 and 8, plasma insulin was significantly lower in the LGIS groups although glucose concentrations were similar among all groups. Plasma gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) increased in all groups but tended to be lower in the LGIS groups. Significant time effects were seen in glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) at both wk 1 and 8; however, diet effects were not observed. Plasma adiponectin concentrations were significantly higher in the LGIS/DAG group vs. all other diet groups. Significantly lower plasma leptin concentrations were found, especially in the LGIS/DAG group. Combinations of LGI starch and oils decreased uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) mRNA gene expression in the small intestine compared with the combinations of HGI starch and oils. These findings indicate that the LGIS/DAG combination beneficially supports more efficient and healthy weight loss in dogs along with improvement in biochemical and hormonal biomarkers. This combination may be preferred for healthy canine weight loss and to help prevent obesity related diseases.