Low dietary fi ber causes low-risk atherogenicity in male Wistar rats fed a cereal-containing infant formula


Chiedozie O. Ibegbulem, Linus A. Nwaogu, Ubong S. Udoala,Donatus C. Belonwu, Chiduzie N. Udechukwu

Background and Objectives: Commercially available infant and non-infant cereal formulas are widely used as weaning meals. We hypothesized that differences in their fiber contents affect the lipid profiles of consumers. The aim of the study was to assess the plasma lipid profiles in rats fed two infant formulas and one non-infant formula. Materials and Methods: Weanling male rats were assigned to control group (Group A, pelletized guinea feed containing 10.0% fiber), infant formula B Group containing 7.0% fiber, infant formula C Group containing 1.7% fiber and non-infant formula D Group containing 7.2% fiber. Experimental rats were fed ad libitum with cereal formulas B, C, and D for 11 days under the same circadian rhythm and room temperature (28.0 ± 2.0°C). Body weight gained, total feed consumed, feed conversion ratio, plasma lipid profiles, and atherogenicity markers were evaluated. Results: Digestion and assimilation were not perturbed (P > 0.05). Formulas B and C reduced (P < 0.05) high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-c) and increased low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-c)/HDL-c ratio. Feed and formulas B and D were not atherogenic: Triacylglycerol (TG)/HDL-c ratio = 0.44 ± 0.21, 0.86 ± 0.21 and 0.51 ± 0.00, respectively; log (TG/HDL-c ratio)= −0.41 ± 0.22, −0.08 ± 0.28 and −0.28 ± 0.01, respectively. Formula C was low-risk atherogenic: TG/HDL-c ratio = 1.34 ± 0.44 and log (TG/HDL-c ratio)= 0.10 because of low fiber (1.7%) and/or no gluten contents; unlike formula B with 7.0% fiber + gluten, and formula D with 7.2% fiber + gluten. Effect size, r, of its fiber on LDL-c/HDL-c ratio was 0.3928 (r 2 = 15.43%) unlike r = 0.9863 (r 2 = 97.28) and 0.9978 (r 2 = 99.56%) for formulas B and D, respectively. Conclusion: Atherogenic tendency of formula C could be eliminated by increasing its fiber content.