Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dietary History Locked Up In Strands Of Hair Can Help Diagnose Eating Disorders

Date:
October 17, 2006
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
Women with eating disorders often cannot recognize their problem, or attempt to disguise it. This makes diagnosis and treatment very difficult. But newly published research from Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry shows that analysing the carbon and nitrogen bound into hair fibres can determine whether a person does indeed have an eating disorder.

Women with eating disorders often cannot recognise their problem, or attempt to disguise it. This makes diagnosis and treatment very difficult. But newly published research from Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry shows that analysing the carbon and nitrogen bound into hair fibres can determine whether a person does indeed have an eating disorder.

Hair grows by adding new proteins to the base of the strand, and pushing the strand up out of the hair follicle. The make-up of these proteins will be influenced by the nutritional state of the person at that moment. This nutritional state is in turn subtly affected by eating patterns associated with eating disorders. Because hair grows all the time, each strand consequently becomes a chemical diary, recording an individual's day-by-day nutrition.

Research published this week by a multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, USA, set out to analyse the pattern of carbon and nitrogen molecules in strands of hair.

The aim was to see if this pattern varied between people with eating disorders and others with normal eating behaviours. Careful statistical analysis of the data enabled them to give an 80% accurate prediction about whether a person had anorexia or bulimia -- the two most common eating disorders. The test was so powerful that it required only five stands of hair.

"The test needs further validation before it will be ready for routine clinical use, but we believe that the current work shows that the method is already quite robust," says lead author Kent Hatch of Brigham Young University's Department of Integrative Biology.

"While some objective measures, such as low weight for age and height, aid in diagnosis of eating disorders, up until now doctors and researchers have had to rely heavily on self-reported information and qualitative interviews with patients. Data collected this way is often highly subjective and demands honesty from the patient. This test has the potential of providing an objective, biological measure for diagnosing eating disorders," says Kent.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Dietary History Locked Up In Strands Of Hair Can Help Diagnose Eating Disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 October 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017085106.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2006, October 17). Dietary History Locked Up In Strands Of Hair Can Help Diagnose Eating Disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017085106.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Dietary History Locked Up In Strands Of Hair Can Help Diagnose Eating Disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061017085106.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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