Differences in zinc status and the leptin axis in anorexic and recovered adolescents and young adults: a pilot study

  • F.D. Zepf RWTH Aachen University/JARA Translational Brain Medicine
  • I. Sungurtekin
  • F. Glass
  • L. Elstrodt
  • D. Peetz
  • G. Hintereder
  • J. Kratzsch
  • C.S. Biskup
  • F. Poustka
  • L. Wöckel
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa, leptin, leptin receptor (sOB-R), free leptin index (FLI), zinc


Background: Evidence from animal studies suggests that leptin metabolism is associated with zinc (Zn) status. However, research investigating this relationship in adolescents and young adults with anorexia nervosa (AN) is scarce; the present study aims to fill that gap. Methods: Serum concentrations of leptin, the soluble leptin receptor (sOB-R) and the free leptin index (FLI) were obtained in healthy control subjects (n =19), acutely ill individuals (n =14) and recovered patients with AN (n = 15). Serum Zn concentrations noted in previous research data were also incorporated for all groups. Results: Leptin, FLI and Zn concentrations were higher in recovered subjects with AN when compared with acutely ill AN patients. Remitted patients showed higher sOB-R concentrations but no difference in FLI compared with the control group. Leptin and FLI were lower in the acutely ill patients compared with the control subjects, who showed no differences in Zn concentrations. Zn concentrations were not correlated with leptin, sOB-R or FLI concentrations in any of the three investigated subgroups. Conclusions: The present investigation does not entirely support an association between Zn, Leptin and FLI concentrations in subjects with AN, possibly due to limited statistical power. Further research and replication of the present findings related to the interaction between leptin and Zn is warranted. However, with respect to serum leptin levels the data of the present investigation indicate that acutely ill and remitted patients with AN differ as regards serum leptin concentrations and FLI, which is in line with previous research.

Keywords: anorexia nervosa; leptin; leptin receptor (sOB-R); free leptin index (FLI); zinc

(Published: 1 March 2012)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2012. 56: 10941 - DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v56i0.10941


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How to Cite
Zepf F., Sungurtekin I., Glass F., Elstrodt L., Peetz D., Hintereder G., Kratzsch J., Biskup C., Poustka F., & Wöckel L. (2012). Differences in zinc status and the leptin axis in anorexic and recovered adolescents and young adults: a pilot study. Food & Nutrition Research. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v56i0.10941
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