Effect of food predictability on life span in male mice

Neil E. Rowland, Kimberly L. Robertson, Dulce Minaya, Vanessa Minervini, Melissa Cervantez, Kathryn A. Kaiser, David B. Allison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study is to compare the effect of unpredictable (U) or predictable (P) food delivery on health and longevity in mice. From 2 months of age until end of life, singly-housed male C57BL/6 mice were fed a semisynthetic diet either ad libitum (AL), or as imposed meals delivered as small pellets at either P or U times, frequencies, or amounts. The total daily food consumed by all groups was the same. The AL group gained body weight faster than either P or U groups, and had ~12% shorter median life span compared with either P or U groups. Bimonthly noninvasive body composition determinations showed that the differences in body weights were due to differences in fat and lean mass. Postmortem examinations revealed that the organ pathologies were similar in all groups, but a larger fraction of P and U mice were euthanized due to end-of-life suffering. There were no systematic differences in outcome measures between P and U groups suggesting that, within the range studied, the temporal pattern of food delivery did not have a significant metabolic effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbergly231
Pages (from-to)1158-1161
Number of pages4
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 12 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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