Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates food intake and energy metabolism. It has also been suggested that mutations in the human BDNF gene and its receptor TrkB account for disturbed eating and obesity. The Met-allele of the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has been associated with eating disorders, but the underlying mechanism of its contribution is not known. We report herewith that the effect of BDNF Val66Met polymorphism on binge eating in adolescent girls is dependent on severe food restriction. The scores on EDI-2 Bulimia subscale were significantly higher in BDNF Met-allele carriers who made attempts to regulate their body weight by reducing their meal frequency or by starving. This finding may help to explain why some people develop binge eating in response to dieting and others do not.
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