Nutritional Neuroscience and Eating Disorders

Nutrition is emerging as a major player in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders, with growing evidence to suggest that diet and nutrition are critical.

Research on pharmacological treatment of eating disorders often yields mixed results and is particularly challenging because of the low number of study participants and high attrition rates. Body composition changes due to loss of lean tissue and/or increased adipose tissue may alter the body’s response to medication. Starvation, characterized by anorexia nervosa (and in some cases, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder), affects metabolism, neurotransmitters, and brain development. In the case of thiamin, which influences appetite, poor nutrition resulting in clinically low nutrient levels may further affect nutritional intake. Eating disorder–related behaviors such as physical activity or purging may also affect the metabolism of medications

 

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