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Metabolic effects of glucose, medium chain triglyceride and long chain triglyceride feeding before prolonged exercise in rats

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The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that oral ingestion of lipids could increase endurance by slowing the rate of glycogen depletion. Trained rats were killed after a 2 h run on a rodent treadmill, following an intragastric infusion of water, glucose, medium chain triglycerides (MCT) or long chain triglycerides (LCT). Glucose and triglycerides were administered in equicaloric concentrations (50 kJ).

The results show that oral ingestion of lipids (MCT or LCT) did not reduce glycogen depletion in liver, heart or skeletal muscle after exercise whereas the fat diet increased muscle and heart glycogen stores in resting conditions. In contrast, glucose feeding induced a significant sparing effect on endogenous carbohydrate utilization and reduced physical exercise lipolysis. These data indicated, firstly, that enhanced lipid availability induced by a single lipid meal before exercise was not able to modify the glycogen depletion occuring after exercise and, secondly, that the glucose/fatty acid cycle was not effective in these conditions. The comparison between lipids indicated that the effect on glycogen use of MCT did not differ from that of LCT, and did not seem to be of any particular importance during physical exercise.

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Correspondence to P. Satabin.

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Auclair, E., Satabin, P., Servan, E. et al. Metabolic effects of glucose, medium chain triglyceride and long chain triglyceride feeding before prolonged exercise in rats. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 57, 126–131 (1988).

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Key words

  • Glucose and fat feeding
  • Glycogen sparing
  • Ketone bodies
  • Insulin
  • Lipolysis