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Effect of the dietary exposure of rat to di(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate on their metabolic efficiency

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The nutritional impact of di(2-ethyl hexyl) phthalate (DEHP), specifically its energy efficiency and nitrogen utilization, was studied in the experimental rat. Groups of male Wistar rats were fed over 21 days with a standard diet alone or a standard diet supplemented with 2% (w/w) DEHP. Food intake, body weight and nitrogen compounds excretion were measured daily. The composition and energetic content of the carcass were determined in animals of both dietary groups after the feeding period, as well as in a separate group on day 0. The food and energy intakes were similar in both groups, however, the efficiencies of energy and nitrogen use were significantly reduced in the DEHP-fed rat. These alterations were reflected by a reduction of 31% on carcass energy retention and a decrease of 26% on cumulative nitrogen balance, without changes in the body composition. The increase of urinary nitrogen excretion, mainly as urea compound, is the major contributing factor to the lower nitrogen retention. These results indicate that DEHP decreases energy efficiency and nitrogen utilization, leading to a pronounced reduction in body weight gain. In addition, this study provides a possible conceptual framework that could explain the metabolic changes induced by DEHP and related compounds in experimental animals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Departamento de Ciencias Biológicas, Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Argentina.

Publication date: November 1, 2002

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