Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Worsening Bulimia May Deplete Hormone That Regulates Appetite

Date:
November 26, 2002
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Previous studies have noted that some bulimia nervosa patients have low levels of a hormone called leptin in their blood, while others have normal levels. Researchers from Italy suspect this hormone disparity may relate to the severity of the disease.

Previous studies have noted that some bulimia nervosa patients have low levels of a hormone called leptin in their blood, while others have normal levels. Researchers from Italy suspect this hormone disparity may relate to the severity of the disease.

Leptin is thought to influence body weight through its action on the hypothalamus, the brain portion that helps regulate appetite and satiety.

"While anorexic patients tend to have low plasma leptin concentrations, bulimics often exhibit levels ranging from anorexic-like values to normal concentrations," says lead study author Palmiero Monteleone, M.D., from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Naples SUN in Naples, Italy. "The reasons for such diversity have not been explained."

To attempt to explain this disparity, Monteleone and colleagues measured leptin blood levels of 127 women divided into three groups. One group consisted of anorexia nervosa patients, another group of bulimia patients, and a third group consisted of healthy volunteers.

As with other studies, the anorexia patients had low leptin levels compared with the healthy women, while the bulimia group was divided: Approximately half had normal leptin levels and half had levels comparable with the anorexia patients. The researchers performed more analyses to glean clues as to why the leptin levels among the bulimics weren't uniform.

The low-leptin bulimia patients had suffered from bulimia for a significantly longer period and they engaged in more bingeing and vomiting compared with the normal-leptin bulimics, the researchers found. They also found a higher number of patients with borderline personality disorder in the low-leptin group of bulimics.

The study findings are published in the November/December issue of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

"Our study findings show that leptin production is decreased in the subgroup of bulimic patients with a more chronic disease and with a greater severity of the bingeing and vomiting behavior," says Monteleone.

It is known that when body fat and weight drop past a certain point, leptin blood levels drop, stimulating appetite. But these study findings suggest that factors other than body weight changes -- such as the chronic malnutrition and bingeing behavior -- may also impair leptin secretion. The bulimics in the low-leptin group had similar body weight to the normal-leptin bulimics.

Bulimia patients generally exhibit normal body weight but their eating habits are far from normal. They take in large amounts of calories during binges but regurgitate most of them by vomiting. They also often choose unhealthy foods during binges and may suffer from chronic nutrient deficiencies, according to the study. Also, a previous study found that binge eating in healthy individuals affected the normal production cycle of leptin.

"It seems possible that in the bulimic patients with low leptin levels, the chronic malnutrition acts in concert with the bingeing behavior to profoundly and persistently affect leptin synthesis," says Monteleone.

Regarding the finding that the low-leptin bulimic group exhibited higher levels of borderline personality disorder, Monteleone notes "this difference is not easily understandable in terms of leptin secretion."

The researchers pointed out several limitations to the study, including that they based their findings on only one blood measurement. They also suggested longer-term studies should address whether bulimics with infrequent bingeing and vomiting will develop lower leptin levels over time.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Worsening Bulimia May Deplete Hormone That Regulates Appetite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021126072341.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2002, November 26). Worsening Bulimia May Deplete Hormone That Regulates Appetite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021126072341.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Worsening Bulimia May Deplete Hormone That Regulates Appetite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/11/021126072341.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) — America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins