Energy-restricted diet benefits body composition but degrades bone integrity in middle-aged obese female rats

Chwan Li Shen, Wenbin Zhu, Weimin Gao, Shu Wang, Lixia Chen, Ming Chien Chyu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study investigates the effects of a restricted diet (RD) on body composition and musculoskeletal health along with endocrines and molecular mechanism in established mature obese rats. Twenty female rats were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) ad libitum for 4 months and then assigned to either HFD or RD group for another 4 months. Another 10 rats were on a low-fat diet for 8 months. Outcome measures included body composition, bone mineral density, microarchitecrure, and strength; serum leptin, adiponectin, insulin-like growth factor I, and liver glutathione peroxidase activity; and protein expression and spleen tumor necrosis factor α messenger RNA expression. We hypothesized that mature obese rats on a 35% energy restriction diet for 4 months would improve body composition but degrade microstructural and mechanical properties of long bones, and such changes in musculoskeletal integrity are related to the modulation of obesity-related endocrines and proinflammation. Relative to HFD, RD benefited body composition (decreased body weight and %fat mass and increased %fat-free mass); decreased insulin-like growth factor I and leptin; elevated adiponectin, glutathione peroxidase activity and protein expression and tumor necrosis factor α messenger RNA expression; and suppressed bone formation and increased bone resorption, resulting in decreased trabecular and cortical bone volume, bone mineral density, and bone strength. Relative to low-fat diet, RD had a similar effect on body composition and serum markers but increased bone turnover rate and decreased bone mineral density and strength. Our data suggest that long-term RD has a negative impact on bone remodeling in obese female rats, probably through modification of endocrines and elevation of proinflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Bone
  • Energy restriction
  • Female rat
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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