'Love hormone' may help those with anorexia - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

'Love hormone' may help those with anorexia

Updated: March 13, 2014 09:13 AM
© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock
  • SPONSORED BY SOUTHEAST HEALTHMore>>

  • Quinn signs epinephrine law for Illinois schools

    Quinn signs epinephrine law for Illinois schools

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-07-30 22:36:36 GMT
    A new bill signed into Illinois law says trained personnel at schools statewide will be able to administer injectable epinephrine for those appearing to have strong allergic reactions.
    A new bill signed into Illinois law says trained personnel at schools statewide will be able to administer injectable epinephrine for those appearing to have strong allergic reactions.
  • Illinois Medicaid restricts use of hepatitis drug

    Illinois Medicaid restricts use of hepatitis drug

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 2:41 PM EDT2014-07-30 18:41:49 GMT
    Illinois is placing tight restrictions on a new hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 per pill. Medicaid patients must meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before the government health care program will pay for...
    Illinois is placing tight restrictions on a new hepatitis C drug that costs $1,000 per pill. Medicaid patients must meet 25 criteria and get prior approval before the government health care program will pay for Sovaldi.
  • Surgeon general issues skin cancer warning

    Surgeon general issues skin cancer warning

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:04 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:04:38 GMT
    Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year - more than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.
    Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer each year - more than cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined.

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A small, preliminary study hints that a hormone connected to positive feelings could help ease obsessions with food and obesity in people with anorexia.

"Patients with anorexia have a range of social difficulties, which often start in their early teenage years before the onset of the illness," senior study author Janet Treasure, of the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London, in England, said in a university news release.

"These social problems, which can result in isolation, may be important in understanding both the onset and maintenance of anorexia," Treasure said. "By using [the hormone] oxytocin as a potential treatment for anorexia, we are focusing on some of these underlying problems we see in patients."

Oxytocin is sometimes called the "love hormone." It's released during bonding activities like childbirth and sex, and researchers have linked artificial forms of it to lowering anxiety in people with autism.

In the new study, researchers gave oxytocin or a placebo, via nasal spray, to 31 patients with anorexia and 33 healthy "control" patients. They all were asked to look at sequences of images relating to different types of food, and different body shapes and weights. The researchers measured how quickly participants identified the images. If they had a tendency to focus on the negative images, they would identify them more quickly.

After taking oxytocin, the anorexic patients appeared to be less obsessed about images of food and obesity, the researchers said. The study did not, however, prove a cause-and-effect link between oxytocin and the decreased feelings of obsession.

"This is early stage research with a small number of participants, but it's hugely exciting to see the potential this treatment could have," Treasure said. "We need much larger trials on more diverse populations before we can start to make a difference in how patients are treated."

The study appears in the March 12 issue of the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

More information

For more about anorexia, try the National Eating Disorders Association.

Copyright © 2014 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
Powered by WorldNow

310 Broadway
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

FCC Public File
publicfile@kfvs12.com
573-335-1212
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KFVS12. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.