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Light Therapy Lessens Bulimics' Binging and Purging

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Rosenthal also says that light increases brain levels of serotonin, a chemical involved in mood that also regulates the sense of "satiety" -- the feeling of being full after eating. Thus, it may counteract the feeling that bulimic patients report of never being "full enough," he says.

"If light therapy boosts serotonin, that could easily explain how the brain is letting the person know that the patient is full," Rosenthal says.

As if to bring things full circle, some evidence -- not fully explored by researchers -- suggests that people eat more in the winter months and that patients with eating disorders experience a worsening of symptoms.

"That ties together the effect of light on both seasonal affective disorder and eating disorders," Rosenthal says.

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