The Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rat, serving as a spontaneously diabetic model with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM),exhibits impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) at about 16 weeks of age. In this study, we investigated whether or not biotin, a water-soluble vitamin, improved the IGT of OLETF rats. To this end, we administered diets containing one of three levels of biotin, a high-biotin diet (BH), a normal-biotin diet (BN) and a basal-biotin diet (BB), to OLETF rats up to 24 weeks of age. An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed four times between 13 and 22 weeks of age. The administration of a BH corrected the IGT of OLETF rats. Upon further investigation, we found that insulin secretion in the OLETF-BH rats was decreased to a significant extent, signaling that the hyperinsulinemia typical to the OLETF-BH rats had clearly improved. Body weights were significantly lower in the OLETF-BH group than in the other OLETF groups, even though the OLETF-BH rats showed a significantly higher average daily food intake. The body weight gain of the OLETF-BH rats followed the same tendency as the control-LETO (Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka) rats (LETO-BB and LETO-BN). These results demonstrate that a high-level biotin diet can improve the glucose handicap in NIDDM rats.
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