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Revista de Nutrição

versión impresa ISSN 1415-5273versión On-line ISSN 1678-9865


SOUZA, Amanda Santos de; PACHECO, Luciana da Camara; CASTRO, Priscila da Silva  y  CARMO, Maria das Graças Tavares Do. Malnutrition promoted by a basic regional diet alters the fatty acid profile of breast milk, and the growth and development of rat pups. Rev. Nutr. [online]. 2009, vol.22, n.4, pp.467-481. ISSN 1415-5273.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of a basic regional diet and nutritional rehabilitation during the critical growth and development periods of rat pups and their effects on body weight and tissue mass gain; to assess food intakes of dams during gestation and lactation and of male and female pups until they were 70 days old; and to assess the percentages of fatty acids in experimental diets and breast milk. METHODS: Male and female Wistar rats were used. After mating, pregnant rats were divided into three groups: 1) Control group, consisting of dams from the beginning of pregnancy (21 days) and pups from birth until they were 70 days old (totaling 91 days) fed commercial lab chow; 2) Malnourished group, consisting of dams and pups fed the regional basic diet chow for the same 91 days; and 3) rehabilitated group, consisting of dams fed the regional basic diet during pregnancy and lactation and pups fed commercial lab chow after weaning (at 21 days) until they were 70 days old. The animals received food and water ad libitum and were maintained in a room with controlled temperature and lighting conditions. The animals were monitored daily to record body weight and food intake. At 70 days, the offspring were killed by decapitation and the brain, heart, kidneys and liver were removed and weighed. The results were analyzed using the Student's t-test, analysis of variance and Bonferroni post hoc test. RESULTS: Important changes were observed in the percentages of essential fatty acids in the regional basic diet as well as in the milk of malnourished dams. Weight gains of malnourished dams and male and female offspring were lower than those of the controls´ from the lactation period until the end of experiment. No differences in body weight were found between the females of the rehabilitated and control groups, but the weight of the male offspring of both groups differed. CONCLUSION: The impaired body weight gain of the dams during lactation and the deficient growth rate of the male and female pups were due to the basic regional diet which lacked many nutrients. The decreased amounts of specific fatty acids in breast milk could partially justify the observed growth deficit.

Palabras clave : Fatty acid; Staple food; Growth; Malnutrition; Experimental studies; Breast milk.

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