Sunday, April 17, 2016

A Genetic Link to Anorexia

What is Anorexia?
Anorexia is an eating disorder that's chracterized by distored body image with an intense fear of being overweight. People with anorexia have a perception that their body is abnormal and must take every control on losing weight. Individuals with anorexia will take extreme ways such as, restrict the amount of food, less calorie intake, misusing laxatives, diet supplements or try to excercise excesssively. Anorexia can be very difficult to overcome, but with correct treatment you can return to healthier eating habits and gain a better lifestyle. Now, reasearchers from Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) suspect the possible risks of anorexia is genetic oriented. Scientist, Lori Zelster used mice and had them on strict diet. They discovered that there is a correlation of feeding behavior between humans and mice. Peer pressure and social stress cause the mice to reduce their calorie-intake upto 20-30%. Researchers found that the BDNF gene is associated with anorexia along with enviromental and social factors. Moneek Madra concluded that, "In the end, we achieved a model that closely replicates the factors that elicit anorexic behavior in humans."

I found this finding to be very essential because peer pressure and body image is a problem that any individual can have. Adolscents and teenagers go through immense pressure and many changes in their lives, it is important for parents to help make positive choices for a better and a healthy lifestyle. Social media and our surroundings influences young kids to acheive the perfect body image.


  1. This is an interesting finding because this could help many. I am curious to see this how this research go further. I wonder if they could now find a drug or some other way to help sever cases. Besides that this could help in therapy of the victims and their families to overcome the disease.

  2. Yes! Finding a drug can be a great method to help ease the symptoms of the disease because they can associate the type of proteins that are resistant to the BDNF gene. Which ensures better treatment to help treat and overcome the disorder.

  3. Do you think that this could also lead to prevention of the disorder? It is great that they found a connection between the disorder and a gene. I do not believe that they can stop the disorder all together, but I do think that this could reduce the number of people that have it. There will always be outside forces that no one can prevent.

  4. Although peer pressure and social stress have a large influence on an individuals desire to eat, anorexia is a mental disorder therefore the BDNF gene associated with anorexia is the main reason for this disorder.Now that researchers have found the underlining problem, their next step is to find a drug or genetic procedure that can get rid of this gene. Changing an individuals environment can be helpful, but the problem is not because of outside sources, it begins in the the individuals genes. It is awesome they found a gene that is related to anorexia, but just finding the gene will not solve the problem. Researchers now need to find a genetic element that will control or reduce this gene.