Calorie restriction (CR) via manipulating dietary carbohydrates has attracted increasing interest in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome. There is little consensus about the extent of carbohydrate restriction to elicit optimal results in controlling metabolic parameters. Our study will identify a better carbohydrate-restricted diet using rat models. Rats were fed with one of the following diets for 12 weeks: Control diet, 80% energy (34% carbohydrate-reduced) and 60% energy (68% carbohydrate-reduced) of the control diet. Changes in metabolic parameters and expressions of adiponectin and peroxisome proliferator activator receptor γ (PPARγ) were identified. Compared to the control diet, 68% carbohydrate-reduced diet led to a decrease in serum triglyceride and increases inlow density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) and total cholesterol; a 34% carbohydrate-reduced diet resulted in a decrease in triglycerides and an increase in HDL-cholesterol, no changes however, were shown in LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol; reductions in HOMA-IR were observed in both CR groups. Gene expressions of adiponectin and PPARγ in adipose tissues were found proportionally elevated with an increased degree of energy restriction. Our study for the first time ever identified that a moderate-carbohydrate restricted diet is not only effective in raising gene expressions of adiponectin and PPARγ which potentially lead to better metabolic conditions but is better at improving lipid profiles than a low-carbohydrate diet in rats.
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