A high-fat diet can affect bone healing in growing rats
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A high-fat diet (HFD) can have a negative effect on bone quality in young and old people. Although bone healing in children is normally efficient, there is no evidence that children who have a diet rich in fat have compromised bone fracture regeneration compared with children with recommended dietary fat levels. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effects of an HFD on bone healing in growing female rats. Twenty-six postweaning female Wistar rats were divided into two groups (13 animals per group): a standard diet (SD) group and an HFD (with 60% of energy from fat) group. The rats received the assigned diets for 5 weeks, and in the third week they were submitted to an osteotomy procedure of the left tibia. Body mass and feed intake were recorded during the experiment. One day before euthanasia, an insulin tolerance test was performed. After euthanasia, the tibiae were removed and analyzed by densitometry, mechanical testing, histomorphometry, stereology and immunohistochemistry. An HFD caused an adaptive response to maintain energetic balance by decreasing feed intake and causing insulin insensitivity. There was no change in bone mineral density, collagen amount and immunostaining for bone formation, but maximal load and stiffness were decreased in the HFD group. In addition, bone volume had a tendency to be higher in the SD group than in the HFD group. Compared with rats receiving an SD, growing rats receiving an HFD for 5 weeks had similar bone mineral density but altered mechanical properties at the osteotomy defect site.
KeywordsHigh-fat diet Tibia Bone healing Bone strength Histology
The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the São Paulo Research Foundation (reference 2014/10733-8) and a scholarship from the Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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