26 February 2005

Fat, protein, and pain

Dietary fat and protein interact in suppressing neuropathic pain-related disorders following a partial sciatic ligation injury in rats
Jordi Péreza, et.al
Chronic neuropathic sensory disorders (CNSD) of rats receiving a partial sciatic nerve ligation injury (the PSL model) are suppressed by dietary soy protein. Although previously shown to modify nociceptive behavior in acute pain models, dietary fat has never been tested for its putative analgesic properties in chronic pain states. Here we tested the role of dietary fat, protein and fat/protein interactions in the development of tactile allodynia and heat hyperalgesia in PSL-injured rats. Male Wistar rats were fed nine different diets, comprising of three proteins (soy, casein and albumin) and three fats (corn, soy and canola) for a week preceding PSL injury and for 2 weeks thereafter. Rats' responses to tactile and noxious heat stimuli were tested before surgery and 3, 7 and 14 days afterwards. Tactile and heat sensory abnormalities following PSL injury were significantly different among the nine dietary groups. Consumption of corn and soy fats suppressed the levels of tactile and heat allodynia and hyperalgesia, whereas consumption of soy and casein proteins was associated with lower levels of heat hyperalgesia but not tactile allodynia. A significant fat/protein interaction was found for the heat but not tactile stimuli. We conclude that dietary fat is a significant independent predictor of levels of neuropathic sensory disorders in rats and that this effect is accentuated by dietary protein. The mechanisms by which fat suppresses neuropathic disorders have yet to be determined.

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