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Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2017 Sep;45(Supplement):26-36. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Nutritional supplements in eating disorders.

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Hospital Clinico San Carlos. Unidad de TCA. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. CIBERSAM.
Hospital Clinico San Carlos. Madrid.


Eating disorders (EDs) are a series of differentiated nosological entities sharing the common link of a continuous alteration in food intake or in food intake-related behavior. Within this classification, the following disorders are noteworthy: anorexia nerviosa (AN) and bulimia nerviosa (BN). Anorexia nervosa is a chronic disorder characterized mainly by negative or decreased food intake accompanied by a distortion of body image and intense accompanying fear of weight gain. The estimated vital prevalence of this disorder in adolescence is approximately 0.5%-1%.1 The primary feature of BN is the presence of binge eating accompanied by compensatory behavior (in the form of intense exercise and the use of laxatives and diuretics, etc.). The prevalence of BN is estimated to be between 2% and 4% in young women, and it generally starts at somewhat later stages than AN. It is believed that biological, psychological, and environmental factors, as well as genetic vulnerability, influence the pathogenesis of EDs. A variety of therapies exist, both biological and psychological, whose effectiveness is supported by the scientific literature. Nonetheless, we find these therapies only partially effective and new targets as well as new treatments should be sought. Although the etiopathogenesis of EDs is unclear, some of the neurobiological dysfunction found suggests that diet and nutrient supplementation could be relevant in their treatment. We review in this article new treatments focusing on nutritional deficits.

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