Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark delved into the microbiota of patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) pathology and found that the gut microbiota’s natural response to these patients’ restricted eating habits exacerbates the pathology.
The findings were published in Nature Microbiology.
Furthermore, transplanting fecal microbiota from AN cases to germ-free mice under energy-restricted feeding mimicked eating behaviors seen in AN.
“Here we investigated whether a disrupted gut microbiota contributes to AN pathogenesis,” the study states. “Shotgun metagenomics and metabolomics were performed on faecal and serum samples, respectively, from a cohort of 77 females with AN and 70 healthy females. Multiple bacterial taxa (for example, Clostridium species) were altered in AN and correlated with estimates of eating behaviour and mental health. The gut virome was also altered in AN including a reduction in viral–bacterial interactions.”
“We found that the reduced weight gain and induced hypothalamic and adipose tissue gene expression were related to aberrant energy metabolism and eating behaviour. Our ‘omics’ and mechanistic studies imply that a disruptive gut microbiome may contribute to AN pathogenesis.”