Dietary Hempseed Meal Intake Increases Body Growth And Shortens The Larval Stage

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Hempseed, a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and phytosterols, has been recognized as a potential therapeutic food used for cardioprotection, preventing platelet aggregation, and improving atopic dermatitis. Although several studies have revealed the physiological benefits of hempseed on a variety of animals, the effects of dietary hempseed intake on animal development are currently unknown. In this study, we evaluated the developmental effects of the addition of hempseed meal (HSM) to the diet of Drosophila. Interestingly, dietary HSM intake was shown to increase the body size of flies by increasing cell numbers, and also truncated the larval period without affecting survival rate or longevity. The oviposition of female flies was also increased by dietary HSM supplementation. Interestingly, the levels of sterols, which are precursors of ecdysone, a molting hormone, were found to be elevated in the larvae fed on HSM. Additionally, the hexane extracts of hempseed mimicked the effects of HSM on growth, developmental timing, and reproduction. Moreover, among the major nonpolar components of HSM, feeding on cholesterol but not PUFA mix or campesterol accelerated pupariation and increased body size. These results indicate that the dietary intake of HSM accelerates both body growth and developmental rates in Drosophila via the stimulation of cell growth and ecdysone synthesis. Additionally, nonpolar components of hempseed, such as cholesterol, might be responsible for the effects of HSM on development and reproduction.

Source: Dietary hempseed meal intake increases body growth... [Mol Cells. 2010] - PubMed - NCBI
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