Urinary peptide levels in women with eating disorders. A pilot study
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The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the urinary excretion of low molecular weight peptides is increased in women with a history of anorexia nervosa/self starvation. The study group consisted of 12 women aged 20–38 years who were treated in a specialised day care unit for eating disorders in Stockholm between January and December 1998; the controls were eight women with primary bulimia treated in the same unit (A) and ten healthy women without any eating disorder (B). The chromatographically measured urinary peptide levels in the study group were significantly higher than those in control group A (and B when one highly influential individual with very low peptide excretion in the study group was excluded from the analyses). These findings offer some support to the speculative hypothesis that eating disorder symptoms may be linked to increased levels of neuroactive peptides, although it is necessary to define the peptides further before any definite conclusion can be drawn. Furthermore, the study group was characterised by many interpersonal differences in eating behaviour that could explain the increased urinary peptide levels.
Key wordsEating disorders bulimia anorexia urinary peptides
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