Aims Dietary habits are crucial factors affecting metabolic homeostasis. However, few animal experiments have addressed the effects of long-term feeding with soft food on parameters reflecting systemic health. Main methods Using mice, we compared the effects of short (3 days) and long (17 weeks from weaning) feeding periods between powdered food and normal pellet food on the levels of blood glucose, serum levels of insulin, catecholamines, and corticosterone, blood pressure, and/or social interaction behaviors. In addition, the effects of a human glucagon-like peptide-1 analog, liraglutide (a new drug with protective effects against neuronal and cardiovascular diseases), were compared between the powder and pellet groups. Key finding (i) Powdered food, even for such a short period, resulted in a greater glycemic response than pellet food, consistent with powdered food being more easily digested and absorbed. (ii) Long-term feeding on powdered food induced hyperglycemia and related systemic signs of illness, including increases in serum adrenaline, noradrenaline, and corticosterone, higher blood pressures (especially diastolic), and increased social interaction behaviors. (iii) Liraglutide, when administered subcutaneously for the last 2 weeks of the 17-week period of feeding, improved these changes (including those in social interaction behaviors). Significance The hyperglycemia associated with long-term powdered-food feeding may lead to certain systemic illness signs, such as elevations of blood glucose, hypertension, and abnormal behaviors in mice. Mastication of food of adequate hardness may be very important for the maintenance of systemic (physical and mental) health, possibly via reduction in the levels of blood glucose and/or adrenal stress hormones (catecholamines and glucocorticoids).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)