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Long-term exercise training and retirement in genetically obese rats: effects on food intake, feeding efficiency and carcass composition

, : Long-term exercise training and retirement in genetically obese rats: effects on food intake, feeding efficiency and carcass composition. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders 16(7): 519-527

Short-term physical exercise (EX) can reduce body weight and fat gain in obese humans and animals. However, the beneficial effects of physical exercise are not long-lasting. In this study, the effects of long-term physical exercise and retirement from exercise (R) on body weight, body composition and fat distribution were examined in genetically obese (OB) and lean (LE) female rats. Fifty OB and 45 LE rats, four weeks old, were divided into EX (swimming, 2h/day, 5 days/week) or sedentary (SD) groups. At the end of the 28th week of treatment, EX groups were further divided into continued EX or R groups for another 11-12 weeks. It was found that at the end of the 28th week EX had reduced the rate of weight gain in OB and LE rats. Percentage body fat was only reduced in OBEX rats and this was achieved by a significant reduction of subcutaneous fat mass. At the end of the 40th week, EX had further reduced the weight gain, fat mass and body fat percentage in OBEX rats while only body fat percentage was reduced in the LEEX group. Retirement from exercise reversed these phenomena. Thus there were no differences between OBSD and OBEX-R rats in body weight, fat mass and percentage body fat. However, the OBEX-R group had a significantly higher amount of internal fat than the other two OB groups. Therefore, exercise, even long-term to cover the entire fat cell proliferation period, still only exerted temporary beneficial effects in OB rats. After retirement, the beneficial effects all disappeared rapidly. In addition, elevation of internal fat mass and internal:subcutaneous fat ratio were observed in retired OB rats, and these may not be desirable in terms of risk factor control.


PMID: 1323548

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