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Serotonin, Dieting, and Bulimia Nervosa

  • P. J. Cowen
  • K. A. Smith
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 467)

Abstract

Dieting is a common behaviour which may trigger eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa in predisposed subjects. We found that in healthy women moderate dieting for 3 weeks lowered plasma concentrations of the 5-HT precursor, L-tryptophan (TRP) and impaired brain 5-HT neurotransmission as judged by 5-HT neuroendocrine tests. In recovered female subjects with a history of bulimia nervosa we found that TRP depletion produced by an amino acid mixture lacking TRP caused a temporary return of depressive symptoms together with concerns about weight and shape and fear of loss of control of eating. Taken together the data suggest that dieting-induced decreases in TRP availability may trigger the development of bulimia nervosa is susceptible individuals.

Keywords

Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Binge Eating Bulimia Nervosa Amino Acid Mixture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. J. Cowen
    • 1
  • K. A. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.University Department of PsychiatryWarneford HospitalOxfordUK

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