Age-related increase in food spilling by laboratory mice may lead to significant overestimation of actual food consumption: Implications for studies on dietary restriction, metabolism, and dose calculations

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25 Scopus citations

Abstract

It is widely accepted that food consumption in humans declines with advanced age; however, data from mice remain controversial. Based on our previous observation that mice spill a considerable amount of food while eating, we hypothesized that increased food spillage in old mice masks actual food intake. To investigate whether mice exhibit age-associated declines in food consumption, we evaluated the actual food consumption of C57BL/6 mice at various ages by measuring both the amount of food in the food receptacle and the amount dropped to the cage bottom during feeding. We found that old mice dropped significantly more food (36% ± 8%) than young mice (18% ± 5%), which led to overestimations of food consumption, particularly in old mice. Although actual food consumption decreased in very old mice, food intake per body weight did not significantly change. These findings suggest that caution should be taken to accurately quantify food consumption by aged animals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1048
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume67 A
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by National Institute on Aging / National Institutes of Health (RO1 AG025908 and R01 AG039732) to H.S. and ( R36 AG038547) to M. E. S.

Keywords

  • Aging
  • C57BL/6 mice
  • Food consumption
  • Food spillage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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