- Academic Editors
Background: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common condition in cats and cachexia (loss of lean body mass) is a concern. A nutrition-based intervention was investigated in cats with CKD for its effects on body composition, the plasma metabolome, and possible implications on health. Methods: After a 4-week prefeed period with the control food, cats with CKD (N = 24) were randomized to one of six groups to consume a control food; a food supplemented with 0.5% betaine, 0.39% oat beta-glucan, and 0.27% short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS, test food 1); and a food supplemented with 0.5% betaine, 0.59% oat beta-glucan, and 0.41% scFOS (test food 2) in a William’s Latin Square design, each for 10 weeks. Body composition was assessed via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry measurements, and the plasma metabolome was characterized. Results: Despite no significant differences in daily intake among the three foods, significant increases in total body mass, lean body mass, and lean plus bone mineral composition were observed when cats with CKD consumed test food 1 compared with the control food; numerical increases were seen with test food 2 versus the control food. Plasma metabolomics indicated increased one-carbon metabolism following consumption of test food 1 and/or 2, with significant increases in sarcosine and numerical increases in methionine. Lower levels of plasma trans-4-hydroxyproline and N-methylproline following consumption of test foods 1 and 2 indicates reduced collagen breakdown and perhaps reduced fibrosis. Several acylcarnitines and branched-chain fatty acids associated with CKD were also reduced when cats ate test food 1 or 2 versus the control food. Higher plasma levels of sphingomyelins with consumption of test food 1 or 2 may reflect less severe CKD. Conclusions: Consumption of foods with supplemental betaine and fibers by cats with CKD led to improvements in body composition and changes in the plasma metabolome that correspond to better kidney health.