The effect of high-fat and high-fructose diets on glucose tolerance and plasma lipid and leptin levels in rats


*Meng-Tsan Chiang, Department of Food Science, National Taiwan Ocean University, Keelung, Taiwan.


Aim:  High-fat and high-fructose diets are usually used to induce animal model diabetes mellitus. The purposes of this research were to compare the abnormalities of glucose metabolism caused by high-fructose diet and a high-fat diet and the effects of the high-fructose diet and high-fat diet on plasma leptin.

Methods:  In this research, 24 Sprague–Dawley rats were used as the experimental animals, which were divided into three groups: chow diet (control group), high-fructose diet (60% fructose w/w) and high-fat diet (20% lard w/w). They were fed for a period of 8 weeks, during which an oral glucose tolerance test was conducted in the seventh week, and after completion of the eighth week, the abdominal adipose tissue and liver of the rats were excised and weighed, and the plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, insulin and leptin concentrations were assayed.

Results:  The high-fat diet group presented a fasting blood glucose concentration that was higher than that of the control group. Furthermore, after 2 h of glucose challenge, the rats in the high-fat and high-fructose diet groups all presented higher plasma glucose concentrations than did the control group. The high-fat diet group showed higher body weight, higher relative liver weight, a higher plasma cholesterol concentration and higher amylase activity than did the other groups, whereas the high-fructose diet group showed higher fasting insulin and triglyceride concentrations. As for adipose tissue, the high-fat diet group presented an amount that was higher than that of the high-fructose and control groups, but the plasma leptin concentration of the high-fructose group was higher than that of the control group.

Conclusions:  It can be concluded from the above-mentioned experimental results that a high-fructose diet can cause hyperinsulinaemia, while a high-fat diet can result in impaired pancreatic function of insulin secretion and glucose intolerance, indicating that high-fructose diet and a high-fat diet may exert divergent effects on glucose metabolism in rats.