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Background: Eating disorders (EDs) have been associated with alterations in cytokine concentrations and production. This review examines whether in vitro cytokine production (i) is altered in people with EDs compared to healthy participants; and (ii) changes in response to treatment?

Methods: Using PRISMA guidelines, we systematically reviewed articles reporting group comparisons or longitudinal assessments of spontaneous and/or stimulated cytokine production in vitro in EDs.

Results: Twelve studies were included. Cross-sectional results were mixed in anorexia nervosa (AN). Only one study measured cytokine production in bulimia nervosa. Two longitudinal studies showed that daily yoghurt consumption increases phytohemagglutinin-stimulated interferon-γ production in AN.

Conclusion: The mixed results could be accounted for by variations in experimental design. Our findings suggest that cytokine production could possibly be modulated through dietary interventions. However, due to the methodological heterogeneity and shortcomings of the included studies, it seems unreasonable to draw further conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number110308
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Early online date6 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019


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