Palatability of goat’s versus cow’s milk: Insights from the analysis of eating behavior and gene expression in the appetite-relevant brain circuit in laboratory animal models

Anica Klockars, Erin L. Wood, Sarah N. Gartner, Laura K. McColl, Allen S Levine, Elizabeth A. Carpenter, Colin G. Prosser, Pawel K. Olszewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Goat’s (GM) and cow’s milk (CM) are dietary alternatives with select health benefits shown in human and animal studies. Surprisingly, no systematic analysis of palatability or preference for GM vs. CM has been performed to date. Here, we present a comprehensive investigation of short-term intake and palatability profiles of GM and CM in laboratory mice and rats. We studied consumption in no-choice and choice scenarios, including meal microstructure, and by using isocaloric milks and milk-enriched solid diets. Feeding results are accompanied by qPCR data of relevant genes in the energy balance-related hypothalamus and brain stem, and in the nucleus accumbens, which regulates eating for palatability. We found that GM and CM are palatable to juvenile, adult, and aged rodents. Given a choice, animals prefer GM- to CM-based diets. Analysis of meal microstructure using licking patterns points to enhanced palatability of and, possibly, greater motivation toward GM over CM. Most profound changes in gene expression after GM vs. CM were associated with the brain systems driving consumption for reward. We conclude that, while both GM and CM are palatable, GM is preferred over CM by laboratory animals, and this preference is driven by central mechanisms controlling eating for pleasure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number720
JournalNutrients
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Appetite
  • Hypothalamus
  • Milk
  • Nucleus accumbens
  • Palatability
  • Reward

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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