Long-term high-fat diet increases muscle mitochondrial enzyme activity and endurance performance. However, excessive calorie intake causes intra-abdominal fat accumulation and metabolic syndrome. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of an alternating day high-fat diet on muscle mitochondrial enzyme activities, protein content, and intra-abdominal fat mass in rats. Male Wistar rats were given a standard chow diet (CON), high-fat diet (HFD), or alternate-day high-fat diet (ALT) for 4 weeks. Rats in the ALT group were fed a high-fat diet and standard chow every other day for 4 weeks. After the dietary intervention, mitochondrial enzyme activities and protein content in skeletal muscle were measured. Although body weight did not differ among groups, the epididymal fat mass in the HFD group was higher than those of the CON and ALT groups. Citrate synthase and beta-hydroxyacyl CoA dehydrogenase activities in the plantaris muscle of rats in HFD and ALT were significantly higher than that in CON rats, whereas there was no difference between HFD and ALT groups. No significant difference was observed in muscle glycogen concentration or glucose transporter-4 protein content among the three groups. These results suggest that an alternate-day high-fat diet induces increases in mitochondrial enzyme activities and protein content in rat skeletal muscle without intra-abdominal fat accumulation.
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