Preliminary examination of glucagon-like peptide-1 levels in women with purging disorder and bulimia nervosa

Amanda M Dossat, Lindsay P Bodell, Diana L Williams, Lisa A Eckel, Pamela K Keel
International Journal of Eating Disorders 2015, 48 (2): 199-205

OBJECTIVE: This study examined pre- and postprandial glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) levels in women with bulimia nervosa (BN), purging disorder (PD), and non-eating disorder control women to better understand whether alterations in satiation-related hormones in BN may be linked to binge-eating episodes or other altered ingestive behaviors.

METHOD: Participants included women with BN (n = 19), PD (n = 14), or controls (n = 14). Participants provided subjective ratings for hunger and fullness and plasma samples before and after consumption of a standardized test meal.

RESULTS: As expected, GLP-1 levels increased significantly following test meal consumption; however, participants with BN displayed significantly lower GLP-1 levels compared to PD and control participants both before and after consumption of the test meal. There were no significant differences between PD and control participants in GLP-1 levels, but individuals with PD displayed significantly higher levels of fullness throughout the test meal as compared to both control and BN participants.

DISCUSSION: Our findings provide preliminary evidence that reduced GLP-1 levels in individuals with BN may be associated with binge-eating episodes. Additionally, increased fullness in individuals with PD does not appear to be accounted for by exaggerated postprandial GLP-1 release.

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