October 5, 2015 CHAPEL HILL, NC - Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine found that people with anorexia nervosa have very different microbial communities residing inside their guts compared to healthy individuals and that this bacterial imbalance is associated with some of the psychological symptoms related to the eating disorder.
The findings, published today in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine, provide more evidence that the abundance and diversity of the gut microbiota - the trillions of bacteria that affect digestive health and immunity - could also affect the so-called "gut-brain axis." This research suggests that gut bacteria could play a prominent role in the debilitating symptoms of anorexia nervosa, a serious eating disorder that affects more than 3 million Americans and has the highest mortality rate of any psychological disorder.
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