Anorexia nervosa and uric acid beyond gout: An idea worth researching

Mladena Simeunovic Ostojic, Joyce Maas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Uric acid is best known for its role in gout-the most prevalent inflammatory arthritis in humans-that is also described as an unusual complication of anorexia nervosa (AN). However, beyond gout, uric acid could also be involved in the pathophysiology and psychopathology of AN, as it has many biological functions serving as a pro- and antioxidant, neuroprotector, neurostimulant, and activator of the immune response. Further, recent research suggests that uric acid could be a biomarker of mood dysfunction, personality traits, and behavioral patterns. This article discusses the hypothesis that uric acid in AN may not be a mere innocent bystander determined solely by AN behavior and its medical complications. In contrast, the relation between uric acid and AN may have evolutionary origin and may be reciprocal, where uric acid regulates some features and pathophysiological processes of AN, including weight and metabolism regulation, oxidative stress, immunity, mood, cognition, and (hyper)activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-101
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Anorexia Nervosa/etiology
  • Gout/complications
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia/metabolism
  • Research
  • Uric Acid/metabolism


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