Laboratory Animal Nutrition and Experimental Results
There is considerable variation in the composition of commercial diets for laboratory rodents. This variation refers to differences between diets from different manufacturers and differences between batches of one brand. Examples are given of biological effects caused by diet variation. Thus results obtained in experiments with laboratory animals can be influenced differently, and therefore they may not be reproducible of comparable. Moreover, the use of a certain diet can either enhance or mask the response of animals to a given stimulus, which leads to false interpretation of the results. Investigators should be aware of the potential influence of diet variation on experimental results. It is suggested that investigators analyse diets beforehand for those components which may affect the parameters under study. If necessary the diet can be rejected for use. The concentrations of the critical components should be kept constant throughout the course of the experiment.