Abstract: The present study was designed to examine, whether rabbits fed a diet containing High Fat (HF) could develop obesity and be predisposed to developing metabolic syndrome (Mets). The results have shown an increased adipose accumulation with a significant weight gain and an increase in abdominal circumference, periscapolar fat and liver weight in rabbits fed HF diets compared to rabbits fed a Low Fat (LFC) diet, associated with higher levels of plasma glucose, insulin and lower levels of High-Density-Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the rabbits fed the HF diets than the rabbits fed the LFC diet. An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) has been performed to evaluate glucose metabolism; the plasma glucose levels in the rabbits fed the HF diets were constantly higher (statistically significant at 0, 60, 90, 120 and 240 min) than in the rabbits fed the LFC diet. The association between the HF diets and oxidative stress, indicated by the presence of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in plasma, has also been investigated; the rabbits fed the HF diets had higher ROS values than the rabbits fed the LFC diet. In addition, the protective effect of Spirulina platensis (SP), antioxidant of vegetable origin, has also been investigated. The SP supplementation (10 g kg-1 of the diet) did not have any effect on the morphological data or some parameters in plasma, while SP was able to reduce the ROS value in rabbits fed the high fat diet probably due to beneficial effect of the γ-linolenic acid content in the SP.
G. Meineri, F. Ingravalle, E. Radice, M. Aragno and P.G. Peiretti, 2009. Effects of High Fat Diets and Spirulina platensis Supplementation in New Zealand White Rabbits. Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, 8: 2735-2744.