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Cereal Chem 61:95 - 99.  |  VIEW ARTICLE
Comparison Between Meal-eating and Nibbling Rats Fed Diets Containing Hard Red Spring Wheat Bran: Bioavailability of Vitamins A and E and Effects on Growth.

S. T. Omaye and F. I. Chow. Copyright 1984 by the American Association of Cereal Chemists, Inc. 

Semipurified diets containing 5 or 20% hard red spring wheat bran were fed to two groups of male Sprague- Dawley rats. One group, nibbling rats, was fed ad libitum; the other group (meal eating) was fed for restriced 2-hr perods each day for 35 days. After 35 days on the dietary regimen, the following results were found: Body and body weight gain and food intakes were significantly (P less than 0.05) increased, and total intestinal tract, stomach, proximal colon, and distal colon weights were significantly decreased in nibbling rats compared to meal-eating rats fed either 5 or 20% wheat bran. Ratios of fat gain to body weight were 5.7 +/- 0.5 for meal-eating rats and 8.0 +/- 0.6 for nibbling rats fed 5% wheat bran; and 5.6 +/- 0.4 for meal-eating rats and 7.1 +/- 0.5 for nibbling rats fed 20% wheat bran. Wheat bran consumption did not influence body weight; however, the proximal colon weights were significantly increased in meal-eating (28.0 +/- 8%) and in nibbling rats (39.8 +/- 5%) fed wheat bran compared to rats fed 5% wheat bran. Distal colon weights were increased 42.5 +/- 1% (P less than 0.05) in nibbling rats. Plasma levels of vitamin E were 27.5 +/- 2.8% less (P less than 0.05) in meal-eating rats and 28.1 +/- 3.7% less (P less than 0.05) in nibbling rats fed 20% wheat bran than in corresponding rats fed 5% wheat bran. Similar trends were found for plasma vitamin A levels with changes in wheat bran in the diet. These results indicate that the frequency of meals and the dietary content of wheat bran markedly affect gastrointestinal weights and alter plasma fat- soluble vitamins. The trend is for lower plasma fat-soluble vitamins and larger intestinal tract weights with decreased meal frequency, high dietary wheat bran, or both.

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