To test the hypothesis that early intervention of vitamin A-enriched diet contains the development of obesity and improves insulin resistance, 50-day-old male lean and obese rats of WNIN/Ob strain were given either stock diet (2.6 mg vitamin A/kg diet) or vitamin A-enriched diet (129 mg vitamin A/kg diet) for 3 months. Compared with stock diet-fed obese rats, vitamin A-enriched diet-fed obese rats had reduced body weight gain, visceral adiposity and improved insulin sensitivity as evidenced by decreased fasting plasma insulin and unaltered glucose levels, which could possibly be due to higher phosphorylation of soleus muscle insulin receptor. This in turn is explained by decreased protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) levels. Most of these changes were not observed in lean rats. In conclusion, chronic feeding of vitamin A-enriched diet to obese rats at an early age ameliorates visceral adiposity and improves the insulin sensitivity, possibly by decreasing soleus muscle PTP1B levels.
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.