Purified ingredient-based high-fat diet is superior to chow-based equivalent in the induction of metabolic syndrome

Hong Sheng Cheng, Sonia Chew Wen Phang, So Ha Ton, Khalid Abdul Kadir, Joash Ban Lee Tan

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    The present study aimed to outline the physiological and metabolic disparity between chow- and purified ingredient-based high-fat diets and their efficacy in the induction of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Male, 3-week-old Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to chow-based control diet, chow-based high-fat diet, purified control diet, and purified high-fat diet for 12 weeks. Physical and biochemical changes were documented. Chow-based diets, irrespective of the lipid content, resulted in significantly lower weight gain and organ weight compared to purified ingredient-based diets. Circulating insulin, total proteins, albumin, and certain lipid components like the triglycerides, total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol were also lower in the chow-based diet groups. Both chow- and purified high-fat diets induced central obesity, hypertension, and hyperglycaemia, but the latter was associated with earlier onset of the metabolic aberrations and additionally, dyslipidaemia. In conclusion, purified high-fat diet is a better diet for MetS induction in rats. Practical applications: Modeling metabolic syndrome is commonly accomplished with the use of chow- or purified ingredient diets enriched with carbohydrates and/or lipids, but the differences and associated drawbacks are unclear. This study highlights that chow- or modified chow-based diets have a tendency to introduce unwanted metabolic changes which are inconsistent with the progression of metabolic syndrome. Thus, the use of these diets in metabolic disease study should be avoided. On the other hand, purified high-fat diet which can effectively induce the features of metabolic syndrome is highly recommended.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere12717
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Food Biochemistry
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


    • diet-induced metabolic syndrome
    • dyslipidaemia
    • hypertension
    • impaired fasting glucose
    • insulin resistance
    • protein deficiency

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