Dietary fish oil does not protect rats exposed to restraint or sleep deprivation stress

Emilia Papakonstantinou, Donna H. Ryan, Ruth B.S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

It has been suggested that fish oil (FO) prevents weight loss caused by physiological stress such as cancer, injury, or cardiovascular disorders. Previously, we observed that a high-fat diet containing corn and coconut oil exaggerated weight loss caused by the mixed physiological and psychological stress of repeated restraint (RR). This experiment tested the effects of a high-fat diet containing FO as the predominant lipid source in rats exposed to the mixed physiological and psychological stress of either RR or sleep deprivation (SD). FO did not prevent stress-induced hypophagia or weight loss in RR or SD rats but exaggerated the negative effects of stress on body weight in SD rats by promoting loss of lean body mass. RR caused a reduction in body fat content irrespective of dietary treatment. In SD rats, both stress and FO independently reduced body fat mass. FO did not have any effect on adrenal and thymus weights during RR or SD and did not influence corticosterone levels after 1 h of RR or after 48 or 96 h of SD. In conclusion, our results suggest that high levels of dietary FO do not improve the response to stress in rats exposed to mixed stressors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-765
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume78
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fish oil
  • Restraint
  • Sleep deprivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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