Table of Contents
ISRN Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume 2011, Article ID 876502, 7 pages
Research Article

Low-Protein Diet during Lactation and Maternal Metabolism in Rats

1Curso de Pós Graduação em Ciências da Saúde, Faculdade de Ciências Médicas, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT), 78060-900 Cuiabá, MT, Brazil
2Programa de Iniciação Científica, Fundação de Apoio à Pesquisa do Estado de Mato Grosso (FAPEMAT), 78050-970 Cuiabá, MT, Brazil
3Departamento de Química, ICET, UFMT, 78060-900 Cuiabá, MT, Brazil
4Departamento de Alimentos e Nutrição, Faculdade de Nutrição (FANUT), Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT), Avenida Fernando Correa da Costa, 2367. Bairro Boa Esperança, 78060-900 Cuiabá, MT, Brazil

Received 2 September 2010; Accepted 12 October 2010

Academic Editor: K. Yang

Copyright © 2011 Vera L. Moretto et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Some metabolic alterations were evaluated in Wistar rats which received control or low-protein (17%; 6%) diets, from the pregnancy until the end of lactation: control non-lactating (CNL), lactating (CL), low-protein non-lactating (LPNL) and lactating (LPL) groups. Despite the increased food intake by LPL dams, both LP groups reduced protein intake and final body mass was lower in LPL. Higher serum glucose occurred in both LP groups. Lactation induced lower insulin and glucagon levels, but these were reduced by LP diet. Prolactin levels rose in lactating, but were impaired in LPL, followed by losses of mammary gland (MAG) mass and, a fall in serum leptin in lactating dams. Lipid content also reduced in MAG and gonadal white adipose tissue of lactating and, in LPL, contributed to a decreased daily milk production, and consequent impairment of body mass gain by LPL pups. Liver mass, lipid content and ATP-citrate enzyme activity were increased by lactation, but malic enzyme and lipid: glycogen ratio elevated only in LPL. Conclusion. LP diet reduced the development of MAG and prolactin secretion which compromised milk production and pups growth. Moreover, this diet enhanced the store of lipid to glycogen ratio and suggests a higher risk of fatty liver development.