Linking the Gut Microbiota to Bone Health in Anorexia Nervosa

Nicole C. Aurigemma, Kristen J. Koltun, Hannah VanEvery, Connie J. Rogers, Mary Jane De Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: The purpose of this review is to examine the anorexia nervosa-microbiota-bone relationship, offering a compilation of the relevant human and animal studies that may contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of potential mechanisms involved. Recent Findings: Recent studies have implicated fermentation by-products of the gut microbiota in bone metabolism. Summary: Compromised bone health often accompanies anorexia nervosa due to energy deficiency and hypoestrogenism. The gut microbiome has been implicated as a link between these conditions and impaired bone growth phenotypes. Current research supports decrements in Firmicutes and short-chain fatty acids with increases in Methanobrevibacter smithii and Proteobacteria in anorexia nervosa. A potential mechanism for microbiome-regulated bone growth is through modulation of insulin-like growth factor-1. Future research should aim to examine short-chain fatty acids, probiotics, and prebiotics as alternative therapies to treat low bone density in anorexia nervosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Osteoporosis Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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