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Starvation prompts body temperature, blood sugar changes to tolerate next food limitation

Date:
April 24, 2017
Source:
Experimental Biology 2017
Summary:
Rats that have experienced past episodes of limited food resources make physiological adaptations that may extend their lives the next time they are faced with starvation.
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Rats that have experienced past episodes of limited food resources make physiological adaptations that may extend their lives the next time they are faced with starvation. New research about starvation physiology will be presented today at the American Physiological Society (APS) annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2017 in Chicago.

Researchers from St. Mary's University in Texas severely limited food intake in adult rats on three separate occasions during their lifetime. During the first two periods of starvation, the animals lost 20 percent of their body mass. In the third, the most prolonged starvation period, they lost 30 percent.

The research team found that the starved rats had a lower body temperature and lower blood sugar levels when compared with healthy, fed control rats. These physiological adaptations helped the rats to hold on to stored fat for energy and suggest that previous periods of extreme hunger "affected the starvation strategies used by the rats," wrote Marshall McCue, first author of the study.

These findings are important to understand the "potentially adaptive physiological responses to starvation," McCue wrote. He encourages biologists to conduct "experiments of starvation physiology that more closely resemble the dynamic nature of food availability."


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Materials provided by Experimental Biology 2017. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


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Experimental Biology 2017. "Starvation prompts body temperature, blood sugar changes to tolerate next food limitation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424141345.htm>.
Experimental Biology 2017. (2017, April 24). Starvation prompts body temperature, blood sugar changes to tolerate next food limitation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424141345.htm
Experimental Biology 2017. "Starvation prompts body temperature, blood sugar changes to tolerate next food limitation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170424141345.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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