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Interpretive Summary: Effects of weight loss and feeding specially formulated diets on the body composition, blood metabolite profiles, voluntary physical activity, and fecal metabolites and microbiota of overweight cats

By: Danielle L Opetz, Patricia M Oba, Darcia Kostiuk, Janelle Kelly, Kelly S Swanson

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of diet, restricted feeding and weight loss on body composition, voluntary physical activity, blood hormones and metabolites, and fecal metabolites and microbiota of overweight cats. Overweight cats were allotted to a control diet (OR) or weight loss diet (FT) and fed to lose ~1.0% body weight/week for 24 wk. Body weight, body composition, and voluntary physical activity were measured, while fecal and blood samples were collected over time. Restricted feeding led to weight and fat mass loss, and lower blood triglyceride and leptin concentrations. Cats fed FT had a greater reduction in blood triglycerides and cholesterol than cats fed OR. Restricted feeding reduced fecal metabolite concentrations and affected relative abundances of 7 fecal bacterial genera. Fecal bacterial beta diversity analysis showed clustering by diet. Dietary intervention affected change from baseline relative abundances of 2 fecal bacterial phyla and 20 fecal bacterial genera. Our data demonstrate that restricted feeding promoted controlled and safe weight and fat loss, reduced blood lipids and leptin concentrations, and shifted fecal metabolites and microbiota. Some dietary differences were noted, highlighting the importance of ingredient and nutrient composition in weight loss diets.

Read the full article in the Journal of Animal Science.