Effects of Dietary Starch and Sucrose on Tissue Responsiveness and Sensitivity to Insulin in Goats Fed a High-concentrate Diet

  • Received : 2006.05.10
  • Accepted : 2006.08.29
  • Published : 2007.03.01


A glucose clamp technique was used to compare dietary starch (ST), starch plus sucrose (ST+SU) and sucrose (SU) with regard to the effect on tissue responsiveness and sensitivity to insulin in intact adult male goats. The goats were fed diets containing 1.2 times of ME and CP for maintenance requirements twice daily for 21 d. Of the energy intake, 30% was offered with ST, ST+SU or SU for the respective diets, and 70% as alfalfa hay, ground corn and ground soybean meal at the respective weight ratio of 1, 1, and 0.3 for all diets. Tissue responsiveness and sensitivity to insulin were evaluated using a hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp technique with four levels of insulin infusion beyond 13 h after feeding. The concentrations of plasma metabolites and insulin were also determined at 3, 6 and 13 h after feeding to evaluate the effects of different carbohydrates on metabolic states in the body. Plasma glucose concentration was higher (p = 0.01) for SU diet than for ST and ST+SU diets. Increasing SU intake decreased (p<0.01) plasma acetate concentration across the time. At 3 h but not 6 and 13 h after feeding, high lactate (p = 0.01), and non-significant high propionate (p = 0.14) and low urea nitrogen (p = 0.19) concentrations were observed in plasma on SU compared with ST and ST+SU diets. Plasma insulin concentration was not different (p = 0.44) between ST and SU fed animals. In the glucose clamp experiment, considering the effects on the maximal glucose infusion rate (tissue responsiveness to insulin, p = 0.54) and the plasma insulin concentration at half-maximal glucose infusion rate (insulin sensitivity, p = 0.54), SU was not different from ST. It is concluded that SU may not be greatly different from ST with regard to the effect on tissue responsiveness and sensitivity to insulin in adult goats when fed twice daily as part of a high-concentrate diet. The possible greater effects of SU on plasma metabolites concentrations at 3 h than at 6 and 13 h after feeding suggest that a lack of persistency of SU effects during the postfeeding period may be associated with the poor response to SU in insulin action.


  1. Fujita, T., M. Kajita, H. Sano and A. Shiga. 2000. Effects of supplemental energy as starch on tissue responsiveness and sensitivity to insulin in goats. Anim. Sci. J. 71:386-392.
  2. Metcalf, J. A. and T. E. C. Weekes. 1990. Effects of plane of nutrition on insulin sensitivity during lactation in the ewe. J. Dairy Res. 57:465-478.
  3. National Research Council. 1985. Nutrient Requirements of Sheep. 6th rev. Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
  4. Pethick, D. W., D. B. Lindsay, P. J. Barker and A. J. Northrop. 1981. Acetate supply and utilization by the tissues of sheep in vivo. Br. J. Nutr. 46:97-110.
  5. Rapp, R. D. 1963. Determination of serum amino acids. Clin. Chem. 9:27-30.
  6. Sano, H., Y. Terashima and T. Senshu. 1989. Insulin secretory response to feeding in sheep fed a diet supplemented with calcium, potassium and sodium propionate. Jpn. J. Zootech. Sci. 60:70-77.
  7. Weekes, T. E. C. 1991. Hormonal control of glucose metabolism. In: Physiological Aspects of Digestion and Metabolism in Ruminants. (Ed. T. Tsuda, Y. Sasaki and R. Kawashima). Academic Press. New York. pp. 183-200.
  8. Fujita, T., M. Kajita, H. Sano and A. Shiga. 2006b. Effects of nonprotein energy intake on the concentrations of plasma metabolites and insulin, and tissue responsiveness and sensitivity to insulin in goats. Asian-Aust. J. Anim. Sci. 19:1010-1018.
  9. Bergman, R. N., D. T. Finegood and M. Ader. 1985. Assessment of insulin sensitivity in vivo. Endocr. Rev. 6:45-86.
  10. Obara, Y., D. W. Dellow and J. V. Nolan. 1991. The influence of energy-rich supplements on nitrogen kinetics in ruminants. In: Physiological aspects of digestion and metabolism in ruminants. (Ed. T. Tsuda, Y. Sasaki and R. Kawashima) Academic Press, New York. pp. 515-539.
  11. Coulombe, J. J. and L. Favreau. 1963. A new simple semimicromethod for colorimetric determination of urea. Clin. Chem. 9:102-108.
  12. Bergman, E. N. 1990. Energy contributions of volatile fatty acids from the gastrointestinal tract in various species. Physiol. Rev. 70:567-590.
  13. Sano, H. and T. Fujita. 2006. Effects of supplemental calcium propionate on insulin action to blood glucose metabolism in adult sheep. Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 46:9-18.
  14. SAS Institute Inc. 1996. $SAS/STAT^{\circledR}$ Software: Changes and Enhancements through Release 6.11. SAS Institute Inc., Cary, North Crolina.
  15. Sutton, J. D., I. C. Hart, S. V. Morant, E. Schuller and A. D. Simmonds. 1988. Feeding frequency for lactating cows: diurnal patterns of hormones and metabolites in peripheral blood in relation to milk-fat concentration. Br. J. Nutr. 60:265-274.
  16. Chamberlain, D. G., S. Robertson and J. J. Choung. 1993. Sugars versus starch as supplements to grass silage: effects on ruminal fermentation and the supply of microbial protein to the small intestine, estimated form the urinary excretion of purine derivatives, in sheep. J. Sci. Food Agric. 63:189-194.
  17. Fujita, T., M. Kajita and H. Sano. 2007. Responses to dietary starch or sucrose on protein and glucose kinetics in goats fed a high-concentrate diet. Arch. Anim. Nutr. (In press).
  18. Obara, Y., H. Fuse, F. Terada, M. Shibata, A. Kawabata, M. Sutoh, K. Hodate and M. Matsumoto. 1994. Influence of sucrose supplementation on nitrogen kinetics and energy metabolism in sheep fed with lucerne hay cubes. J. Agric. Sci. 123:121-127.
  19. Sano, H. and Y. Terashima. 2001. Effects of dietary protein levels and cold exposure on tissue responsiveness and sensitivity to insulin in sheep. J. Anim. Physiol. Anim. Nutr. 85:349-355.
  20. Fujita, T., M. Kajita and H. Sano. 2006a. Responses of whole body protein synthesis, nitrogen retention and glucose kinetics to supplemented starch in goats. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B 144:180-187.
  21. Clement, K., M. E. Pueyo, M. Vaxillaire, B. Rakotoambinina, F. Thuillier, P. Passa, P. Froguel, J. J. Robert and G. Velho. 1996. Assessment of insulin sensitivity in glucokinase-dependent subjects. Diabetologia 39:82-90.
  22. Bassett, J. M. 1974. Diurnal patterns of plasma insulin, growth hormone, corticosteroid and metabolites concentrations in fed and fasted sheep. Aust. J. Biol. Sci. 27:167-181.
  23. Taylor, K. A. 1996. A simple colorimetric assay for muramic acid and lactic acid. Appl. Biochem. Biotech. 56:49-58.
  24. Sutoh, M., Y. Obara and S. Miyamoto. 1996. The effect of sucrose supplementation on kinetics of nitrogen, ruminal propionate and plasma glucose in sheep. J. Agric. Sci. 126:99-105.
  25. Chamberlain, D. G., P. C. Thomas, W. Wilson, C. J. Newbold and J. Macdonald. 1985. The effects of carbohydrate supplements on ruminal concentrations of ammonia in animals given diets of grass silage. J. Agric. Sci. 104:331-340.
  26. Kahn, C. R. 1978. Insulin resistance, insulin insensitivity, and insulin unresponsiveness: a necessary distinction. Metabolism 27:1893-1902.
  27. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat, MAFF. 1995. Standard Tables of Feed Composition in Japan. 1995. Central Association of Livestock Industry, Tokyo.
  28. Obara, Y. and D. W. Dellow. 1993. Effects of intraruminal infusion of urea, sucrose or urea plus sucrose on plasma urea and glucose kinetics in sheep fed chopped lucerne hay. J. Agric. Sci. 121:125-130.