Partial replacement of glucose by galactose in the post-weaning diet improves parameters of hepatic health

J Nutr Biochem. 2019 Nov:73:108223. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.108223. Epub 2019 Aug 15.


Replacing part of glucose with galactose in the post-weaning diet beneficially affects later life metabolic health in female mice. The liver is the main site of galactose metabolism, but the direct effects of this dietary intervention on the liver in the post-weaning period are not known. The aim of this study was to elucidate this. Weanling female mice (C57BL/6JRccHsd) were fed a starch containing diet with glucose (32 en%) monosaccharide (GLU), or a diet with glucose and galactose (1:1 both 16 en%) (GLU+GAL). Body weight, body composition, and food intake were determined weekly. After 3 weeks, mice were sacrificed, and serum and liver tissues were collected. Global hepatic mRNA expression was analyzed and hepatic triglyceride (TG) and glycogen contents were determined by enzymatic assays. Body weight and body composition were similar in both groups, despite higher food intake in mice on GLU+GAL diet. Hepatic TG content was lower in GLU+GAL-fed than GLU-fed females, while glycogen levels were unaffected. Analysis of global expression patterns of hepatic mRNA showed that mainly inflammation-related pathways were affected by the diet, which were predominantly downregulated in GLU+GAL-fed females compared to GLU-fed females. This reduction in inflammation in GLU+GAL-fed females was also reflected by decreased serum concentrations of acute phase protein Serum amyloid A 3. In conclusion, replacing part of glucose with galactose in the post-weaning diet reduces hepatic TG content and hepatic inflammation.

Keywords: Galactose; Inflammation; Liver health; Post-weaning diet; SAA3; Transcriptomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Weight
  • Diet*
  • Eating / drug effects
  • Female
  • Galactose / administration & dosage*
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Glucose / administration & dosage*
  • Glycogen / analysis
  • Hepatitis / prevention & control
  • Liver / chemistry
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Triglycerides / analysis
  • Weaning


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Triglycerides
  • Glycogen
  • Glucose
  • Galactose