The effect of dietary energy restriction on body weight gain and the development of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in Psammomys obesus

Ken Walder, Carolyn R. Dascaliuc, Paul A. Lewandowski, Andrew J. Sanigorski, Paul Zimmet, Greg R. Collier

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Food intake was restricted to 75% of ad libitum levels in 37 male Psammomys obesus (Israeli Sand Rats) from the ages of 4 (weaning) to 10 weeks. Energy restriction reduced the mean body weight at 10 weeks by 29% compared with 44 ad libitum fed controls. Hyperglycemia was prevented completely in the food-restricted group, and mean blood glucose concentrations were significantly reduced (3.8±0.2 vs. 5.5±0.4 μmol/L; p<0.05) compared with control animals. Plasma insulin concentrations were also decreased significantly compared with ad libitum fed controls (105 ± 13 vs. 241 ± 29 mU/L; p<0.05). Although energy restriction prevented hyperglycemia from developing in 10-week-old P. obesus, 19% of the food restricted animals still developed hyperinsulinemia. We concluded that hyperphagia between the ages of 4 to 10 weeks may be essential for the development of noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in P. obesus, but that hyperinsulinemia may still occur in the absence of hyperphagia and hyperglycemia, suggesting a significant genetic influence on the development of hyperinsulinemia in this animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalObesity Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy intake
  • Hyperinsulinemia
  • Hyperphagia

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