Effect of macronutrient and micronutrient manipulation on avian blood glucose concentration: A systematic review

Anthony J. Basile, Kavita C. Singh, Deborah F. Watson, Karen L. Sweazea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Animals with natural protections against diabetes complications may provide clues to improve human health. Birds are unique in their ability to avoid hyperglycemia-associated complications (e.g., glycation and oxidative stress) despite having naturally high blood glucose (BG) concentrations. This makes them useful models to elucidate strategies to prevent and/or treat diabetes-related complications in mammals. As diet plays a key role in BG concentration and diabetes risk, this systematic review aimed to summarize the effects of macro and micronutrient manipulation on avian BG. Three databases were searched (PubMed, SCOPUS, and Web of Science) for articles that met inclusion criteria: altered at least one nutrient and measured BG in at least one avian species. The search yielded 91 articles that produced 128 datasets (i.e., one nutrient manipulation in one sample). Across all macronutrient manipulations (n = 69 datasets), 62% reported no change in BG and 23% measured an increase (p < 0.001). Within the macronutrient groups (carbohydrate, lipid, protein, and mixed) most datasets showed no change in BG (67%, 62%, 52%, and 86%, respectively). Across micronutrient manipulations (n = 59 datasets), 51% demonstrated no change and 41% decreased BG (p < 0.001). While manipulations that altered vitamin intake largely produced no change in BG (62%), 48% of datasets examining altered mineral intake found no change and 46% decreased BG. Chromium was the most studied micronutrient (n = 24 datasets), where 67% of datasets reported a decrease in BG. These results suggest birds are largely able to maintain blood glucose homeostasis in response to altered nutrient intake indicative of dietary flexibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111279
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology -Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Avian
  • Bird
  • Diet
  • Glucose
  • Macronutrient
  • Micronutrient
  • Nutrients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology


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