Flight activity and glycogen depletion on a low-carbohydrate diet

Hugh S. Winwood-Smith, Craig R. White, Craig E. Franklin

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3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Glycogen is a critical store for locomotion. Depleted glycogen stores are associated with increased fatigue during exercise. The reduced effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss over longer time periods may arise because such diets reduce glycogen stores and thereby energy expenditure via physical activity. To explore the effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on activity and glycogen utilisation, we fed adult Drosophila melanogaster a standard or low-carbohydrate diet for 9 days and measured patterns of flight activity and rates of glycogen depletion. We hypothesised that flight activity and rates of glycogen depletion would be reduced on a low-carbohydrate diet. Flight activity was elevated in the low-carbohydrate group but glycogen depletion rates were unchanged. We conclude that increased activity is probably a foraging response to carbohydrate deficiency and speculate that the previously demonstrated metabolic depression that occurs on a low-carbohydrate diet in this species may allow for increased flight activity without increased glycogen depletion.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjeb228379
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume223
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Drosophila
  • Energy
  • Metabolism
  • Obesity
  • Plasticity
  • Protein

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