Food and Behaviour Research

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Zinc supplementation in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

Su JC, Birmingham CL. (2002) Eat Weight Disord. 7(1) 20-2 

Web URL: View this abstract via PubMed here


The clinical manifestations of zinc deficiency and anorexia nervosa are remarkably similar, and a number of studies have demonstrated that there may be a positive correlation between zinc therapy and the rate of recovery of anorexia nervosa patients.  However, because of the different interpretations of the results of these studies, the use of zinc supplementation varies.

This article examines the evidence supporting zinc supplementation in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

Randomised, double-blind, controlled clinical trials indicate that zinc therapy enhances the rate of recovery in anorexia nervosa patients by increasing weight gain and improving their levels of anxiety and depression.

On the basis of these findings and the low toxicity of zinc, zinc supplementation should be included in the treatment protocol for anorexia nervosa.