The influence of dietary protein on the effect of ethanol in young rats
Yu, Chorng-Shyan Jeannie
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The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of high or low protein on rats consuming water or alcohol. The free amino acids in the plasma and brain, hepatic lipids, growth and food intake were monitored continually throughout the experiment. Ethanol drinking rats fed high or low protein diet had slower growth rate than those receiving water. However, protein deficiency had more effect on limiting growth rate than ethanol did. The total caloric intake per body weight in ethanol drinking animals was higher than that of water drinking rats. Rats offered the low protein diet ate less each day than the rats given the high protein diet. However, per kg of body weight the rats fed the low protein diet ate almost twofold more per day than the rats fed the high protein diet. The total hepatic lipid of the rats fed a high protein diet with ethanol was almost the same as in those animals fed the same diet but given water. The rats given ethanol and a low protein diet showed significantly (p < 0.01) increased hepatic lipid content as compared to the animals given the same diet but given water. However, increased hepatic lipid primary due to protein deficiency and ethanol can potentiate the effect of protein deficiency. Ethanol consumption did not significantly (p > 0.01) affect fecal nitrogen excretion and protein absorption when rats were fed either a low or a high protein diet. The plasma a-amino-n-butyric acid to leucine ratio was raised among rats who drank ethanol.