The Role of Essential Fatty Acids in Anorexia Nervosa and Obesity

Shlomo Yehuda, Sharon Rabinovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The two basic questions in food intake study are what we eat, and how much do we eat. Most research is directed toward the control of how much is eaten. This is likely the result of the increased number of individuals with eating disorders in the Western world. Feeding behavior is highly complex, and is controlled by many psychological, physiological, biochemical, and immunological factors. The aim of this review is to clarify the involvement of fatty acids in eating disorders such as anorexia and binge eating disorder. The review will describe the modified fatty acid profile observed in individuals with anorexia or binge eating disorder, and discuss on what factors fatty acids can exert beneficial effects. In addition, the differences and similarities between anorexia and binge eating disorder will be discussed. We suggest that beneficial effects of essential fatty acids on both anorexia and binge eating disorder can be explained by the stabilizing effect of those fatty acids on the neuronal membrane fluidity index.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2021-2035
Number of pages15
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number12
StatePublished - 9 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © 2015 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.


  • Obesity
  • anorexia
  • cognition
  • cytokines
  • essential fatty acids
  • neurotransmitters
  • omega 3
  • sleep
  • stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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