Vitamin and Mineral Deficient Diets
Animal models have been, and continue to be crucial in understanding the etiology of metabolic diseases in humans. Nutritional science research during the 20th century has shown that diet is a powerful environmental tool capable of changing the phenotype of an animal, and thus improve our understanding of different diet-related metabolic diseases. Examples include obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, atherosclerosis, and hypertension. To study these disorders in animals, researchers typically use diets that contain excess levels of fat and sucrose, among other modifications. Animal diets can also be modified to create vitamin and mineral deficiencies which allows researchers to define the requirements of these nutrients.