Possible use of fermented foods in the rehabilitation of anorexia nervosa: the gut microbiota as a modulator

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Main idea: Gut microbiota plays an important role in anorexia nervosa and especially focuses on the therapeutic potential of fermented foods, proposed here as a recommended addition to the current nutritional treatment protocols warranting further investigation.

Abstract

Anorexia nervosa is a serious psychiatric disorder with high morbidity and mortality rate. Treatment focuses on weight restoration through the consumption of a high-energy diet. The human gut microbiome is increasingly recognized for its proposed role in gastrointestinal, metabolic, immune, and mental health. Dietary intake plays an important role in shaping gut microbiota composition, whilst the use of fermented foods, foods with potential psychobiotic properties that deliver live bacteria, bacterial metabolites, prebiotics, and energy, have been discussed to a lesser extent. Fermented foods are of increasing interest due to their potential capacity to affect gut microbiota composition, provide beneficial bacterial metabolites, and confer beneficial outcomes to host health.

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