Metabolic and Immunological Effects of Intermittent Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet Containing Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Healthy Dogs
Leung YB, Cave NJ, Heiser A, Edwards PJB, Godfrey AJR, Wester T. Metabolic and Immunological Effects of Intermittent Fasting on a Ketogenic Diet Containing Medium-Chain Triglycerides in Healthy Dogs. Front Vet Sci. 2020 Jan 8;6:480. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00480. PMID: 31998762; PMCID: PMC6961514.
In several species, intermittent fasting (IF) has been shown to have beneficial effects, including delayed aging, increased lifespan, increased insulin sensitivity, reduced ischemic tissue damage, delayed onset of neurodegenerative disease and improved neuronal repair following injury. However, the metabolic and immunological effects of IF have not been well-established in dogs. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of a 48 h IF regimen using a low fat and a high fat diet in healthy dogs by quantifying the metabolic, hormonal, and immunological changes. We hypothesized that IF dogs would have higher blood ketone and ghrelin concentrations, lower blood leptin, insulin and glucose concentrations, and signs of immunosuppression compared to dogs eating daily. Ten healthy adult dogs were randomized into three group and underwent three feeding regimes in a 3 × 3 Latin square design: twice a day feeding on a low fat (23% energy from fat; LF) diet, 48 h fasting on a low fat diet, and 48 h fasting on a high fat enriched with medium-chain triglycerides (68% energy from fat; HF) diet. Body weight, food intake, activity, blood glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate, leptin, ghrelin, and insulin were measured. Lymphocyte proliferation and neutrophil/macrophage phagocytosis and respiratory burst were measured as markers of immune function. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to relatively quantify plasma metabolites. When the dogs were IF on a HF diet, they had the highest concentration of blood ketones (mean 0.061 mmol/L, SD 0.024), whereas they had the lowest concentration (mean 0.018 mmol/L, SD 0.004) when fed daily. Blood glucose and insulin concentrations were lower in IF dogs on a HF diet compared to daily feeding or IF on a LF diet. There was an increase in plasma β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations, and a reduction in glucose and insulin concentrations when dogs were IF on a HF diet. There was only a decline in the immune parameters studied when the dogs were IF on a LF diet, which was not seen when on the HF diet. The results of this study indicate the potential of IF to be further investigated as a potential beneficial feeding regime for dogs.