Young swine were subjected to repeated episodes of starvation and refeeding in which the starvation phases were terminated by short periods of pure nutrient feeding. A complete, natural diet was fed between experiments. Cardiovascular responses to the various dietary manipulations were followed daily throughout the 18-month study. These were measured in terms of heart and respiratory rates and systolic and diastolic blood pressures. Electrocardiograms were taken at various stages of experimentation. Postmortem examinations were performed after the animals had experienced eight starvation-refeeding experiments.
Tachycardia and apparent impairment in the blood pressure control mechanisms, as evidenced by extreme daily fluctuations upon refeeding, were immediately evident when the animals were refed with pure glucose, high glucose diets, or a complete, natural diet. Similar effects of lesser severity accompanied the refeeding with pure protein, but were not observed in conjunction with pure starch or corn oil refeeding.
Extreme hypertension and ventricular strain, as well as aortic placques and histological evidence of myocardial degeneration were observed, apparently as a consequence of the repeated refeeding stresses.