Insect Meal as Alternative Protein Source Exerts Pronounced Lipid-Lowering Effects in Hyperlipidemic Obese Zucker Rats

The Journal of Nutrition
Denise K GessnerKlaus Eder


Specific dietary proteins exert strong health-related effects compared with casein. Herein, the hypothesis was tested using screening and conventional biochemical and molecular biological techniques that protein-rich insect meal compared with casein influences metabolic health in hyperlipidemic rats. A 4-wk feeding trial with male, 8-wk-old homozygous obese Zucker rats (n = 36) and male, 8-wk-old heterozygous lean Zucker rats (n = 12) was performed. Obese rats were randomly divided into 3 obese groups (OC, OI50, and OI100) of 12 rats each and lean rats served as a lean control group (LC). LC and OC were fed a control diet with 20% casein as protein source, whereas in OI50 and OI100 50% and 100% of the casein, respectively, was replaced isonitrogenously by insect meal from Tenebrio molitor L. All data were analyzed by 1-factor ANOVA, except transcriptomic data which were analyzed by groupwise comparisons with the OC group. Transcript profiling revealed a coordinated inhibition by -17% to -521% and -37% to -859% of genes involved in fatty acid, triacylglycerol (TG), and cholesterol biosynthesis in the livers of OI100 and OI50, respectively, compared with OC (P < 0.05). Enzyme activities of fatty acid synthase, glucose-6 phosphate...Continue Reading


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