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      Phosphorus Supplementation Mitigated Food Intake and Growth of Rats Fed a Low-Protein Diet

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          Background: Low protein intake is associated with various negative health outcomes at any life stage. When diets do not contain sufficient protein, phosphorus availability is compromised because proteins are the major sources of phosphorus. However, whether mineral phosphorus supplementation mitigates this problem is unknown, to our knowledge.

          Objective: Our goal was to determine the impact of dietary phosphorus supplementation on food intake, weight gain, energy efficiency, body composition, blood metabolites, and liver histology in rats fed a low-protein diet for 9 wk.

          Methods: Forty-nine 6-wk-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly allocated to 5 groups and consumed 5 isocaloric diets ad libitum that varied only in protein (egg white) and phosphorus concentrations for 9 wk. The control group received a 20% protein diet with 0.3% P (NP-0.3P). The 4 other groups were fed a low-protein (10%) diet with a phosphorus concentration of 0.015%, 0.056%, 0.1%, or 0.3% (LP-0.3P). The rats' weight, body and liver composition, and plasma biomarkers were then assessed.

          Results: The addition of phosphorus to the low-protein diet significantly increased food intake, weight gain, and energy efficiency, which were similar among the groups that received 0.3% P (LP-0.3P and NP-0.3P) regardless of dietary protein content. In addition, phosphorus supplementation of low-protein diets reduced plasma urea nitrogen and increased total body protein content (defatted). Changes in food intake and efficiency, body weight and composition, and plasma urea concentration were highly pronounced at a dietary phosphorus content <0.1%, which may represent a critical threshold.

          Conclusions: The addition of phosphorus to low-protein diets improved growth measures in rats, mainly as a result of enhanced energy efficiency. A dietary phosphorus concentration of 0.3% mitigated detrimental effects of low-protein diets on growth parameters.

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          Design and validation of a histological scoring system for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

          Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic steatosis in the absence of a history of significant alcohol use or other known liver disease. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the progressive form of NAFLD. The Pathology Committee of the NASH Clinical Research Network designed and validated a histological feature scoring system that addresses the full spectrum of lesions of NAFLD and proposed a NAFLD activity score (NAS) for use in clinical trials. The scoring system comprised 14 histological features, 4 of which were evaluated semi-quantitatively: steatosis (0-3), lobular inflammation (0-2), hepatocellular ballooning (0-2), and fibrosis (0-4). Another nine features were recorded as present or absent. An anonymized study set of 50 cases (32 from adult hepatology services, 18 from pediatric hepatology services) was assembled, coded, and circulated. For the validation study, agreement on scoring and a diagnostic categorization ("NASH," "borderline," or "not NASH") were evaluated by using weighted kappa statistics. Inter-rater agreement on adult cases was: 0.84 for fibrosis, 0.79 for steatosis, 0.56 for injury, and 0.45 for lobular inflammation. Agreement on diagnostic category was 0.61. Using multiple logistic regression, five features were independently associated with the diagnosis of NASH in adult biopsies: steatosis (P = .009), hepatocellular ballooning (P = .0001), lobular inflammation (P = .0001), fibrosis (P = .0001), and the absence of lipogranulomas (P = .001). The proposed NAS is the unweighted sum of steatosis, lobular inflammation, and hepatocellular ballooning scores. In conclusion, we present a strong scoring system and NAS for NAFLD and NASH with reasonable inter-rater reproducibility that should be useful for studies of both adults and children with any degree of NAFLD. NAS of > or =5 correlated with a diagnosis of NASH, and biopsies with scores of less than 3 were diagnosed as "not NASH."
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            AIN-93 purified diets for laboratory rodents: final report of the American Institute of Nutrition ad hoc writing committee on the reformulation of the AIN-76A rodent diet.

            For sixteen years, the American Institute of Nutrition Rodent Diets, AIN-76 and AIN-76A, have been used extensively around the world. Because of numerous nutritional and technical problems encountered with the diet during this period, it was revised. Two new formulations were derived: AIN-93G for growth, pregnancy and lactation, and AIN-93M for adult maintenance. Some major differences in the new formulation of AIN-93G compared with AIN-76A are as follows: 7 g soybean oil/100 g diet was substituted for 5 g corn oil/100 g diet to increase the amount of linolenic acid; cornstarch was substituted for sucrose; the amount of phosphorus was reduced to help eliminate the problem of kidney calcification in female rats; L-cystine was substituted for DL-methionine as the amino acid supplement for casein, known to be deficient in the sulfur amino acids; manganese concentration was lowered to one-fifth the amount in the old diet; the amounts of vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B-12 were increased; and molybdenum, silicon, fluoride, nickel, boron, lithium and vanadium were added to the mineral mix. For the AIN-93M maintenance diet, the amount of fat was lowered to 40 g/kg diet from 70 g/kg diet, and the amount of casein to 140 g/kg from 200 g/kg in the AIN-93G diet. Because of a better balance of essential nutrients, the AIN-93 diets may prove to be a better choice than AIN-76A for long-term as well as short-term studies with laboratory rodents.
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              Imaging of neutral lipids by oil red O for analyzing the metabolic status in health and disease.

              Excess lipid accumulation in peripheral tissues is a key feature of many metabolic diseases. Therefore, techniques for imaging and quantifying lipids in various tissues are important for understanding and evaluating the overall metabolic status of a research subject. Here we present a protocol that detects neutral lipids and lipid droplet (LD) morphology by oil red O (ORO) staining of sections from frozen tissues. The method allows for easy estimation of tissue lipid content and distribution using only basic laboratory and computer equipment. Furthermore, the procedure described here is well suited for the comparison of different metabolically challenged animal models. As an example, we include data on muscular and hepatic lipid accumulation in diet-induced and genetically induced diabetic mice. The experimental description presents details for optimal staining of lipids using ORO, including tissue collection, sectioning, staining, imaging and measurements of tissue lipids, in a time frame of less than 2 d.

                Author and article information

                Curr Dev Nutr
                Curr Dev Nutr
                Current Developments in Nutrition
                Oxford University Press
                August 2017
                27 July 2017
                27 July 2017
                : 1
                : 8
                [1 ]Department of Nutrition and Food Science, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
                [2 ]Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
                [3 ]Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon
                Author notes
                [* ]Address correspondence to OAO (e-mail: omar.obeid@ ).
                Copyright © 2017, Hammoud et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CCBY-NC License, which permits noncommercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Pages: 8
                Funded by: American University of Beirut 10.13039/100007688
                Original Research


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