Alterations in vitamin A and thyroid hormone status in anorexia nervosa and associated disorders

J. Curran-Celentano, J. W. Erdman, R. A. Nelson, S. J.E. Grater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vitamin A and thyroid hormone status was investigated in 27 patients with anorexia nervosa. Subjects were divided into three groups based on eating behavior and serum carotene concentrations: anorexic (dietary restriction), normal carotene; anorexic, elevated serum carotene; bulimic, elevated serum carotene. All bulimic subjects fulfilling selection criteria were hypercarotenemic (weight loss and reduced metabolic rate). Data were compared to normal healthy volunteers. Serum retinol and retinol-binding protein levels were normal in all subjects whereas retinyl esters were elevated in the hypercarotenemic groups. Hypercarotenemia was primarily a result of elevation of vitamin A active carotenoids, especially β-carotene. Diet was excluded from the etiology of hypercarotenemia. Thyroid hormones T4 and T3 were significantly depressed in hypercarotenemic groups and rT3 increased. A concomitant alteration in vitamin-hormone status is observed with progressive metabolic alterations: low T3, T4, and elevated retinyl esters in subjects with the hypercarotenemia associated with anorexia nervosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1183-1191
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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