Milk diet has long been recommended in the management of gastrointestinal pathologies. Since milk feeding represents a high fat-low carbohydrate diet and it is acknowledged that insulin resistance is one of the consequences of high fat feeding, it is important to know whether or not chronic milk feeding leads to an impairment of the insulin-mediated glucose metabolism. To examine this question, adult female rats were given raw cow's milk (50% of total calories as lipids) for 18 days. They were compared to rats raised in parallel and fed the standard laboratory diet (15% of total calories as lipids). At the end of the 18 day period, body weight, daily caloric intake, basal plasma glucose and insulin levels in the milk-fed rats were similar to those in the control rats. In vivo insulin action was assessed with the euglycemichyperinsulinemic clamp technique in anesthetized animals. These studies were coupled with the 2-deoxyglucose technique allowing a measurement of glucose utilization by individual tissues. In the milk fed rats: 1) the basal rate of endogenous glucose production was significantly (p<0.01) reduced (by 20%); 2) their hepatic glucose production was however normally suppressed by hyperinsulinemia; 3) their basal glucose utilization rate was significantly (p<0.01) reduced (by 20%); 4) their glucose utilization rate by the whole-body mass or by individual tissues was normally increased by hyperinsulinemia. These results indicate that insulin action in adult rats is not grossly altered after chronic milk-feeding, at least under the present experimental conditions.

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