Date of Award

Summer 7-10-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Meera Penumetcha

Second Advisor

Dr. Anita Nucci

Third Advisor

Dr. Vijay Ganji


A Low-fat Diet Containing Heated Soybean Oil Promotes Hyperglycemia in C57BL/6J Mice

Introduction: The metabolic effects of consuming mildly oxidized lipids as compared to highly oxidized lipids are not well documented. Consumption of highly oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids, even in a low-fat diet, may be a threat to one’s health. Previous studies in our lab have shown that mice consuming soybean oil heated for 3 hours, compared to unheated, gain less body weight, but more fat pad mass, and 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with soybean oil heated for ≥ 6 hours have abrogated triglyceride accumulation. Another study showed that rats fed highly oxidized oil (heated > 24 hrs), as compared to fresh soybean oil and fish oil, had lower fat pad mass and weight gain but developed glucose intolerance. This suggested that the extent of lipid oxidation determined the subsequent metabolic risk.

Objective: Our aim, in the current study, is to investigate if a low-fat diet with soybean oil heated for increasing time points (3h, 6h and 9h) alter fat mass and glucose tolerance.

Methods: Six week old, male, C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into six groups (n=8/group). Three groups were fed a low fat diet with soybean oil heated for 3 (3hr-HO), 6 (6hr-HO), or 9 (9hr-HO) hours for 16 weeks. Another three groups were pair-fed to each of the 3hr-HO, 6hr-HO and 9hr-HO groups with a low-fat diet containing unheated oil (PF-UHO). Food consumption was recorded every 3-4 days, and body weights were recorded weekly. Soy oil in the diets was analyzed for products of oxidation. At 16 weeks, blood glucose levels were measured after a 6 hour fast; fat pad and liver weights were recorded, and blood was collected by cardiac puncture for serum insulin analysis.

Results: Final weight gain was not significantly different between all HO groups as a percent of their respective PF groups (p >0.05). The feeding efficiency for 3hr, 6hr, and 9hr-HO groups as a percent of PF was 92.75, 113.02, and 111.28, respectively. Mean weights of all fat pads for HO groups decreased with heating time as a percent of PF, although these differences were not statistically significant. Blood glucose was lowest in the 3hr-HO group and significantly increased from 3hr-HO group to 6hr-HO group (p=0.021) as a percent of PF. Serum insulin levels decreased for the HO groups as heating time increased, although these differences were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Consuming a diet with increasing amounts of oxidized lipids decreased fat pad mass and insulin levels, while increasing fasting glucose levels. This paradoxical relationship between increased glucose in the presence of decreased insulin in c57BL/6J mice could be due to either reduced insulin secretion or increased insulin resistance. Further research in our lab will aim to analyze triglyceride accumulation in the liver and muscle cells of these mice to determine if oxidized lipids promote ectopic fat deposition.