It is well known that intake of dietary fiber (DF) potently decreases food intake and feelings of hunger and/or promotes satiety ratings. However, the mechanisms explaining these effects are not well characterized. This work was performed to determine which of satiation and/or satiety mechanisms provoke the decrease of food intake induced by DF in mice. We tested in an intra-group protocol a low-viscosity (LV, fructo-oligosaccharide), a viscous (VP, guar gum) and a high-viscosity (HV, mixture of guar gum and fructo-oligosaccharide) preload. These were given to mice by intra-gastric gavage. It appeared that viscous preloads such as VP and HV reduced the daily energy intake by 14% and 21% respectively. The strong effect of HV was mainly due to a large decrease of meal size (by 57%) and meal duration (by 65%) with no effect on ingestion rate during the first 30 min after administration. Therefore, the DF-induced decrease of energy intake was due to a satiation mechanism. This is further supported by a 3-fold increased sensitization of neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract as observed by c-Fos protein immunolabelling. No compensation of food intake was observed during the rest of the day, a phenomenon that may be explained by the fact that metabolic rate remained high despite the lower food intake. We have also shown that the DF-induced inhibition of food intake was not paired with a conditioned taste aversion. To conclude, this work demonstrates that DF inhibits food intake by increasing satiation during ~1h after administration.
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