Shifts in Circulating Concentrations of Glucose in Domesticated Mammals: Is There a Consistent Adaptation to Domestication?


There have been marked changes in amylase gene number during human evolution resulting in shifts in carbohydrate metabolism. This has been related to utilization of starch. Similarly, there are changes in enzymes related to carbohydrate metabolism in dogs. Again, this has been linked to improving starch utilization following domestication. It was questioned as circulating concentrations of glucose is a good indicator of putative differences in carbohydrate metabolism across domesticated animals. Domesticated bovids had lower (p < 0.001) circulating concentrations of glucose than wild species in their respective subfamilies. Circulating concentrations of glucose were consistently lower (p < 0.001) in domesticated animals compared to either closely related wild species or the mean for wild species in their subfamilies (or families where there is insufficient data available). It is suggested that shift to lower circulating concentrations of glucose in domesticated animals is related to greater starch intake following domestication in a manner akin to the shifts in carbohydrate metabolism and amylase gene number in human evolution.

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Scanes, C. (2014) Shifts in Circulating Concentrations of Glucose in Domesticated Mammals: Is There a Consistent Adaptation to Domestication?. Food and Nutrition Sciences, 5, 1652-1659. doi: 10.4236/fns.2014.517178.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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