Effect of food predictability on lifespan in male mice.

Academic Article


  • The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of unpredictable (U) or predictable (P) food delivery on health and longevity in mice. From 2 months of age until end of life, singly-housed male C57BL/6 mice were fed a semisynthetic diet either ad libitum (AL), or as imposed meals delivered as small pellets at either P or U times, frequencies, or amounts. The total daily food consumed by all groups was the same. The AL group gained body weight faster than either P or U groups, and had ~12% shorter median life span compared with either P or U groups. Bimonthly non-invasive body composition determinations showed that the differences in body weights were due to differences in fat and lean mass. Post-mortem examinations revealed that the organ pathologies were similar in all groups, but a larger fraction of P and U mice were euthanized due to end-of-life suffering. There were no systematic differences in outcome measures between P and U groups suggesting that, within the range studied, the temporal pattern of food delivery did not have a significant metabolic effect.
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  • Rowland NE; Robertson KL; Minaya D; Minervini V; Cervantez M; Kaiser KA; Allison DB