The effects of high-fat diets with varied carbohydrate content on the development of diabetes in obese mouse models.


Emma Anderson

Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016

JAX Location

In: Student Reports, Summer 2016, Jackson Laboratory


The mouse model of diabetes is a valuable tool for gaining insight into the interaction between genetics and environment in this disease by testing how genetically distinct strains respond to diets with differing macronutrient composition. Type II diabetes is an environmentally-induced disease characterized by symptoms such as hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, polyuria, pancreatic (Beta)-cell destruction, and in severe cases ketoacidosis. Dietary carbohydrate restriction has been used throughout history as a method of therapy for the disease, and offers an alternative to prescription medicines with numerous side effects. Due to the response of obese mouse models to carbohydrate restriction, it is established that dietary carbohydrates play an essential role in the development of diabetes. In this study, mice of both sexes from five strains, several of which are genetically predisposed to obesity, were fed five high fat diets with differing carbohydrate and fat content, and various parameters indicative of the diabetic phenotype were measured. The data generated by this experiment was analyzed to evaluate whether a threshold for dietary carbohydrate content exists that affects whether or not obese strains develop diabetes.

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