European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 53, Issue 3, pp 885–895

Diet-induced obese rats have higher iron requirements and are more vulnerable to iron deficiency

  • Jesse Bertinato
  • Cristina Aroche
  • Louise J. Plouffe
  • Megan Lee
  • Zehra Murtaza
  • Laura Kenney
  • Christopher Lavergne
  • Alfred Aziz
Original Contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00394-013-0592-9

Cite this article as:
Bertinato, J., Aroche, C., Plouffe, L.J. et al. Eur J Nutr (2014) 53: 885. doi:10.1007/s00394-013-0592-9

Abstract

Purpose

Since obesity is associated with poorer iron status, the effects of diet-induced obesity on iron status and iron-regulatory pathways were examined.

Methods

Weanling male diet-induced obese sensitive (n = 12/diet group) and resistant (n = 12/diet group) rats were fed one of four high-fat, high-energy diets supplemented with 5 (5Fe, low), 15 (15Fe, marginal), 35 (35Fe, normal) or 70 (70Fe, high) mg iron/kg diet for 12 weeks. At the end of the study, rats in each diet group were categorised as obese (>19 %) or lean (<17 %) based on percentage body fat.

Results

Obese rats gained more weight, had larger total lean mass, consumed more food and showed greater feed efficiency compared with lean rats. Obese rats fed the 5Fe and 15Fe diets had poorer iron status than lean rats fed the same diet. Obese 5Fe rats had lower serum iron and more severe iron-deficiency anaemia. Obese 15Fe rats had lower mean corpuscular haemoglobin and liver iron concentrations. Hepcidin mRNA expression in liver and adipose tissue was similar for obese and lean rats. Iron concentration and content of the iron transporters divalent metal transporter 1 and ferroportin 1 in duodenal mucosa were also similar.

Conclusions

Obese rats that were larger, regardless of adiposity, had higher iron requirements compared with lean rats that appeared independent of hepcidin, inflammation and intestinal iron absorption. Higher iron requirements may have resulted from larger accretion of body mass and blood volume. Greater food consumption did not compensate for the higher iron needs, indicating increased susceptibility to iron deficiency.

Keywords

Anaemia Diet-induced obesity Hepcidin Iron deficiency Rat 

Supplementary material

394_2013_592_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (50 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 49 kb)

Copyright information

© Crown Copyright 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jesse Bertinato
    • 1
  • Cristina Aroche
    • 1
  • Louise J. Plouffe
    • 1
  • Megan Lee
    • 1
  • Zehra Murtaza
    • 1
  • Laura Kenney
    • 1
  • Christopher Lavergne
    • 1
  • Alfred Aziz
    • 1
  1. 1.Nutrition Research Division, Health Products and Food Branch, Health CanadaSir Frederick G. Banting Research CentreOttawaCanada

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