The effects of caffeine and aspartame on food intake and anxiety in the rat

Fitzpatrick, Carolyn A. (1994) The effects of caffeine and aspartame on food intake and anxiety in the rat. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The present study investigated the effects of chronic low and high dose caffeine and aspartame on food intake and anxiety like behaviour in male Wistar rats. Anxiety-like behavior was assessed in the holeboard and elevated plus maze. Rats received caffeine (3.125 x 10⁻¹ or 9.375 x 10⁻¹ mg/ml/day) and aspartame (2.5 or 7.5 mg/ml/day) in their drinking water for 7 days. Rats were then tested in the holeboard and elevated plus maze. High caffeine with and without aspartame decreased food intake relative to vehicle controls. However, rats treated with high caffeine alone developed a tolerance to the anorectic effects of caffeine while low or high doses of aspartame blocked this tolerance to high caffeine. A low dose of caffeine given with a low dose of aspartame synergistically reduced feeding. This suppression was transient. There were no anxiogenic effects in the holeboard and plus maze tests for any group, although baseline anxiety levels were high for all groups. Future research should examine the feeding suppression effects by high doses of caffeine over an extended period in addition to carefully controlling rats' basal levels of anxiety.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 10492
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 60-65.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Psychology
Science, Faculty of > Psychology
Date: 1994
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Anxiety; Appetite depressants; Aspartame--Physiological effect; Caffeine--Physiological effect; Rats.

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