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  • Jacob Menzer

Jacob Menzer

Effects of High Fat Diet on Cardiac Function

Project Description

Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States of America and related with cardiac hypertrophy, or the enlargement of the heart, due to the increased demands placed on the heart. There are two different enlargements of the heart, pathological (bad) or physiological (good). Pathological hypertrophy is known to lead to congestive heart failure as well as a multitude of other cardiovascular diseases and physiological hypertrophy is common among aerobic athletes. The purpose of this Honors Research Project is to determine the effects a short term (4-6 weeks) and long term (23-31 weeks) High Fat Diet on cardiac functioning in female mice. Previous research in this lab has shown that there is a trend of cardiac hypertrophy following a short term high fat diet, but more data was need to determine significance. Mice will be placed on their specific diet plan, whether it be a Standard Chow (control group), long term high fat diet, or short term high fat diet, then the cardiac cells of the mice will be analyzed for cell size as well as contractile function. These measurements will be able to determine whether the heart has enlarged and shed some light onto whether this enlargement is beneficial or malignant. The hypothesis is that there will be significant cardiac hypertrophy following a short term high fat diet, and that hypertrophy will be exacerbated by a continued, long term high fat diet.

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Department

Biology

Faculty Advisor

Beth Bailey

Hometown

Newark, DE