Specific Appetite - Unlearned Appetite

Unlearned Appetite

An unlearned appetite is one that an animal possesses at birth, without conditioning through prior stress followed by alleviation with specific foods. An unlearned appetite suggests a physiological mechanism for detecting the absence of a nutrient as well as a signalling component that directs the animal to seek out the missing nutrient. An example of an unlearned appetite might be caloric appetite, as seen in all domestic animals. Other unlearned appetites are more difficult to demonstrate. In one study, protein-deficient rats that had not previously experienced protein deficiency demonstrated strong preferences for high-protein foods such as soybean, gluten, and ovalbumin within thirty minutes of food presentation. This preference was not seen in controls, and was also exhibited by pregnant females with higher protein needs who were not experimentally protein-deficient. Rats also seem to have an unlearned appetite for calcium and sodium. In addition, zinc-depleted chicks show preferences for zinc-rich feeds.

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Famous quotes containing the words appetite and/or unlearned:

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