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6, No. 1, 2013
Issue release date: March 2013

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Obes Facts 2013;6:28-38

Bright Light for Weight Loss: Results of a Controlled Crossover Trial

Danilenko K.V. · Mustafina S.V. · Pechenkina E.A.
Institute of Internal Medicine, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russia

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Objective: To investigate whether bright light treatment can reduce body mass in overweight subjects irrespective of their seasonal (= light) dependence. Methods: A crossover, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial was performed between November and April in Novosibirsk, Russia (55° N). The trial comprised a 3-week in-home session of morning bright light treatment using a device of light-emitting diodes and a 3-week placebo session by means of a deactivated ion generator, separated by an off-protocol period of at least 23 days. The number of placebo and light sessions was matched with respect to season. Data were obtained from 34 overweight women, aged 20-54 years, 10 were seasonal-dependent according to the Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire. Weekly measures included body weight, percentage body fat by bioimpedancemetry, and subjective scores (appetite, mood, energy levels). Results: Motivation and expectation towards weight loss were similar for the two intervention sessions. With light, compared to the placebo session, weight did not reduce significantly, but percentage fat, fat mass, and appetite were significantly lower (average fat reduction 0.35 kg). The latter two results remained significant after excluding seasonal-dependent subjects from the analysis. Irrespective of the type of intervention, seasonal-dependent subjects had greater weight and fat mass changes during treatment (decline p < 0.036) or between sessions (regain p < 0.003). Photoperiod (p = 0.0041), air temperature to a lesser extent (p = 0.012), but not sunshine (p = 0.29) was associated with the weight change (greater weight reduction if the second session was in spring). Conclusion: Morning bright light treatment reduces body fat and appetite in overweight women and may be included in weight control programs.

 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Konstantin V. Danilenko, MD
Institute of Internal Medicine
Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences
Bogatkova 175/1, 630089 Novosibirsk (Russia)

 goto top of outline Article Information

Received: May 3, 2012
Accepted: July 17, 2012
Published online: February 21, 2013
Number of Print Pages : 11
Number of Figures : 2, Number of Tables : 3, Number of References : 38

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Obesity Facts (The European Journal of Obesity)

Vol. 6, No. 1, Year 2013 (Cover Date: March 2013)

Journal Editor: Hebebrand J. (Essen)
ISSN: 1662-4025 (Print), eISSN: 1662-4033 (Online)

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Open Access License / Drug Dosage

Open Access License: This is an Open Access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC) (, applicable to the online version of the article only. Distribution permitted for non-commercial purposes only.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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