The objective of this study was to evaluate whether pectin feeding would affect the small intestinal function and whether these changes would lead to obesity prevention in rats fed with high-fat diet. Three groups of weaned male rats (ad lib. fed; rats fed with diet containing 15% w/w of citrus pectin; restrictedly pair-fed rats) were fed with either a standard diet (9.5% fat) or a high-fat diet (30% fat) for 10 days.
Our results revealed that pectin feeding led to significant decreases in body weight, energy intake and fat pad weight in rats fed with the standard as well as high-fat diet. Moreover, compared to the restrictedly pair-fed rats, in both groups of rats fed with the diet containing pectin, significant decrease in duodenal alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity was observed in histochemically stained cryostat sections. In contrast, despite their lower energy intake, restrictedly pair-fed rats showed similar fat pad deposition accompanied by unchanged values of AP activity in comparison to the controls.
Our findings indicate that daily pectin consumption could be beneficial in suppressing body weight gain and reducing probability of obesity risk in rats fed with a high-fat diet.