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Differences in Metabolic Profiles of Healthy Dogs Fed a High-Fat vs. a High-Starch Diet

  • Lyu, Yang1
  • Liu, Daisy1
  • Nguyen, Patrick2
  • Peters, Iain3
  • Heilmann, Romy M.4
  • Fievez, Veerle5
  • Hemeryck, Lieselot Y.6
  • Hesta, Myriam1
  • 1 ECAN Equine and Companion Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke , (Belgium)
  • 2 Nutrition, Physiopathology and Pharmacology Unit, National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering, Nantes , (France)
  • 3 SYNLAB VPG, Exeter Science Park, Exeter , (United Kingdom)
  • 4 Gastrointestinal Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX , (United States)
  • 5 Department of Animal Sciences and Aquatic Ecology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent , (Belgium)
  • 6 Laboratory of Chemical Analysis, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke , (Belgium)
Published Article
Frontiers in Veterinary Science
Frontiers Media S.A.
Publication Date
Feb 17, 2022
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2022.801863
  • Veterinary Science
  • Original Research


Obesity is a common problem in dogs and overconsumption of energy-rich foods is a key factor. This study compared the inflammatory response and fecal metabolome of dogs fed a high-fat vs. a high-starch diet. Ten healthy lean adult beagles were equally allocated into two groups in a cross-over design. Each group received two diets in which fat (horse fat) and starch (pregelatinized corn starch) were exchanged in an isocaloric way to compare high fat vs. high starch. There was a tendency to increase the glucose and glycine concentrations and the glucose/insulin ratio in the blood in dogs fed with the high-fat diet, whereas there was a decrease in the level of Non-esterified fatty acids and a tendency to decrease the alanine level in dogs fed with the high-starch diet. Untargeted analysis of the fecal metabolome revealed 10 annotated metabolites of interest, including L-methionine, which showed a higher abundance in dogs fed the high-starch diet. Five other metabolites were upregulated in dogs fed the high-fat diet, but could not be annotated. The obtained results indicate that a high-starch diet, compared to a high-fat diet, may promote lipid metabolism, anti-oxidative effects, protein biosynthesis and catabolism, mucosal barrier function, and immunomodulation in healthy lean dogs.

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