Hypercaloric diets differing in fat composition have similar effects on serum leptin and weight gain in female subjects with anorexia nervosa.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nutrition research (New York, N.Y.), Volume 29, Issue 1, p.1-7 (2009)


2009, Adolescent, Adult, Anorexia Nervosa, Body Weight, CHOLESTEROL, Cholesterol, HDL, Cholesterol, LDL, Clinical Research Division, diet, Dietary Fats, Energy Intake, Fatty Acids, Fatty Acids, Omega-3, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated, Female, Ghrelin, Humans, Insulin, Leptin, Middle Aged, Triglycerides, Weight Gain, Young Adult


Weight regain in subjects with anorexia nervosa is associated with an increase in serum leptin concentrations that is hypothesized to impair full weight restoration. As diets rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) have been described to lower serum leptin concentrations, we tested the hypothesis that consumption of a hypercaloric diet rich in n-3 PUFA is associated with an attenuated increase in serum leptin and a higher efficiency of body weight gain in subjects with anorexia nervosa. Twenty-five female subjects with anorexia nervosa were enrolled into this controlled dietary intervention study. Four subjects discontinued therapy or participation in the study prematurely, and six were excluded. 15 subjects completed the study. Subjects consumed hypercaloric diets rich in either saturated fatty acids (SFA, n = 8) or n-3 PUFA (n = 7) for 5 weeks. Primary endpoints were the change in serum leptin concentrations and body weight gain relative to energy consumed. Serum leptin concentrations increased distinctly throughout the study (P < .001), and to a similar extend in both groups [+2.9 (SD 2.4) vs. +2.8 (SD 3.4) ng/mL in the SFA- and n-3 PUFA group, respectively; P = .487]. The efficiency of body weight gain also did not differ significantly between groups, with a body weight gain of 63.1 (SD 12.4) vs. 79.2 (SD 26.0) g per 4.2 MJ (1000 kcal) consumed in the SFA- and n-3 PUFA group, respectively (P = .132). Hypercaloric diets rich in either SFA or n-3 PUFA do not differ in their effects on serum leptin concentrations and the efficiency of body weight gain in female subjects with anorexia nervosa.