Teklad diet bedding and enrichment blog posts

21 September, 2018

Diet selection 101 - Making informed decisions about lab animal diets

By Luz Merle

Diet continues to be an overlooked variable in experimental investigations, impacting reproduction, growth, and disease, as well as affecting the response to experimental manipulation in laboratory animals.

Given that reproducibility is a key principle in the conduct and validation of experimental science, how can you ensure that your laboratory animal diet does not unduly influence your outcomes and conclusions drawn from your empirical data?

To answer this question, let’s discuss the function of a diet as a research tool and examine some of the key considerations in choosing the most optimal diet for your study’s needs.

+ Read more
 

14 November, 2017

Exploring the use of custom diets as a research tool

By Luz Merle

A strategic custom diet can serve as a vital research tool. This post will discuss how custom lab animal diets are fed for a defined purpose, such as nutrient control, inducing disease, or as a dosing technique. Read on to find out how a custom diet can answer your research question and make your study more impactful.

+ Read more
 

05 October, 2017

Standard lab animal diets vs. custom diets: exploring the key differences

By Luz Merle

Researchers today have a plethora of options to choose from when it comes to feeding laboratory animals. Let’s explore the differences between standard diets  and custom laboratory animal diets.

+ Read more
 

08 August, 2017

The good, the bad and the ugly effects, of dietary phytoestrogen in laboratory animal diets

By Luz Merle

Soybean meal, a common ingredient in laboratory animal diets, contains variable levels of phytoestrogens. These plant-derived compounds mimic the structure and function of estrogens in mammals and can have an impact on research results.

The main phytoestrogens (and their primary sources) include:

  • isoflavones (mainly genistein and daidzin, which are found in soybean protein),
  • coumestans (mainly coumestrol, which is found in alfalfa), and
  • ligans (found in flax and sunflower).

Read more about the physiological effects and research variations that can occur, if diets contain isoflavones.

+ Read more
 

18 July, 2017

Understanding NASH: the 'silent' liver disease

By Luz Merle

The so-called “silent” liver disease of NASH ranks third for the leading causes of liver transplants and our global obesity epidemic has only increased the prevalence of NASH. Without an approved NASH treatment, the healthcare industry must explore therapeutic strategies for this unmet medical need.

Animal models of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) have proven helpful in understanding disease progression, developing new treatment options and improving diagnostic techniques. To produce rodent models of NAFLD and NASH, diet manipulation is a useful tool. When choosing dietary features to induce NAFLD pathologies, researchers should consider the animal model, time frame and desired disease outcome.

Dietary methods to induce NAFLD/NASH in rodents can be split into two categories:

1) Feed rodents for longer periods of time to induce obesity, metabolic syndrome and mild NASH

2) Feed a nutrient deficient diet to induce hepatic features of severe NASH in a relatively short period of time, without inducing metabolic symptoms such as obesity and insulin resistance

Exploring these dietary methods in more detail will help you to make informed decisions about the therapeutic strategies available.

+ Read more
 

23 April, 2017

Understanding the effect of high-fat rodent diets on obesity phenotypes

By Luz Merle

Studying obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, or other metabolic syndromes requires feeding rodents purified, high-fat diets, but at what age should a high-fat diet be introduced to a model? Which type of high-fat rodent diet can enhance development of obesity phenotypes? To answer these important questions, researchers at Envigo ran a study with 144 male C57BL/6 mice to understand the differences in diet response.

The experiment compared both the age of starting the high-fat diets, as well as the differences between types of high-fat diets. With all models beginning on a fixed formula vegetarian grain-based diet, the experimental groups were formed and given one of three diets:

+ Read more