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The protein level of isoenergetic formulae does not modulate postprandial insulin secretion in piglets and has no consequences on later glucose tolerance

Blat, Sophie, Morise, Anne, Sauret, Anne, Louveau, Isabelle, Macé, Katherine, Le Huërou-Luron, Isabelle, Sève, Bernard
The British journal of nutrition 2012 v.108 no.1 pp. 102-112
bottle feeding, diet, fasting, glucose, glucose tolerance, homeostasis, insulin, insulin resistance, insulin secretion, low birth weight, noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, pancreas, piglets, protein content, protein intake, sow milk, suckling, weaning
Early postnatal nutrition is involved in metabolic programming, an excess of protein being suspected to enhance early growth and the propensity to later develop insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that excessive protein intake during the suckling period would overstimulate the endocrine pancreas in the short term and alter durably its maturation, contributing to the later disruption of glucose homeostasis. Normal-birth-weight and low-birth-weight piglets were fed isoenergetic formulae providing an adequate-protein (AP, equivalent to sow milk) or a high-protein (HP, +48 %) supply between 7 and 28 d of age and were fed a standard diet until 70 d of age. During the formula-feeding period, the HP formula did not modify postprandial insulin secretion but transiently increased fasting insulin and the homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR, P < 0·05). Fasting insulin and HOMA-IR were restored to AP piglets' values 1 month after weaning. The structure of the endocrine pancreas was not affected by the protein content of the formula. The weight at birth had no major effect on the studied parameters. We concluded that a high-protein supply during the suckling period does not interfere with insulin secretion and endocrine pancreas maturation in the short term. It has no consequences either on glucose tolerance 1 month after weaning. The present study demonstrated that up-regulation of postprandial insulin secretion is not involved in higher growth observed in piglets fed a HP formula.