Journal article

Altered circulating endocannabinoids in anorexia nervosa during acute and weight‐restored phases: A pilot study

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  • European Eating Disorders Review. - 2020, vol. 28, no. 1, p. 46-54
English Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder characterized by a low food intake and often exceeding exercise, leading to a particularly low body × weight proportion. Patients with AN usually report less hunger than healthy controls. Endogenous endocannabinoids (eCBs), specifically the anandamide, have been associated to hunger, as a meal initiator, but research regarding AN and eCB and inconclusive. In this pilot study, we investigated plasma levels of eCB in inpatients with AN during fasting and after eating, both during the acute AN phase and after weight recovery. After an 8‐hr fasting period, blood sample was collected from all participants. After that, participants were given a muffin test meal. Blood samples for the investigation of endogenous eCBs anandamide (N‐arachidonoylethanolamide [AEA]) and 2‐arachidonoylglycerol (2‐AG) were then collected after 120 and 240 min. Participants were only allowed to eat and drink what was offered them during the research. AN reported less hunger than controls during fasting and at the end of the experiment. Also, plasma levels of AEA were significantly smaller in AN in comparison with controls in all time points. No significant difference was found for 2‐AG plasma levels. After recovery, no significant difference was found for eCB levels. These findings could be interpreted as an AEA deregulation in AN before and after food intake, which persists after weight recovery. These findings may have implications to the pharmacological treatment of AN and to relapse occurring in the disorder.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de Psychologie
  • English
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