Study Provides Hope for New Anorexia Treatment


Research may have found a new treatment for anorexia, oxytocin  otherwise know as the love hormone. The study found that oxytocin helps anorexic patients to not fixate on high calorie foods and larger body shapes. It is a follow on from previous research on oxytocin carried out by the same team. 

Oxytocin is a hormone that is released by the body at times such as during sex, childbirth and breastfeeding. 

Professor Janet Treasure, the senior author on the studies said “Patients with anorexia have a range of social difficulties which often start in their early teenage years, before the onset of the illness. These social problems, which can result in isolation, may be important in understanding both the onset and maintenance of anorexia. By using oxytocin as a potential treatment for anorexia, we are focusing on some of these underlying problems we see in patients”

Larger trials are still needed but it is exciting about the progress being made and the potential of this treatment. For more details about the treatment and trial



Full Research:

  1. Kim, Y-R. et al. Intranasal oxytocin attenuates attentional bias for eating and fat shape stimuli in patients with anorexia nervosaPsychoneuroendocrinology, March 2014
  2. Youl-Ri Kim, Chan-Hyung Kim, Jin Hong Park, Jimin Pyo, Janet Treasure. The Impact of Intranasal Oxytocin on Attention to Social Emotional Stimuli in Patients with Anorexia Nervosa: A Double Blind within-Subject Cross-over ExperimentPLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (3): e90721 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0090721