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.

Related Articles


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 December 19, 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 December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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