Carbohydrates and Depression. Scientific American 1989; 260(1): 68-75
R.J. Wurtman. and J.J. Wurtman
"The brain fails to respond when carbohydrates are eaten and the desire for them persists longer than it should."
"Carbohydrate cravers overeat only carbohydrates and do so only at characteristic times of the day. At mealtime they behave like normal eaters, ...towards the late afternoon and early evening they begin to snack often consuming an additional 800 or more calories per day."
"Carbohydrate craving appears to be caused by a malfunction of a serotoninergic feedback mechanism in the brain."
Eating Style in Seasonal Affective Disorder: Who Will Gain Weight in the Winter
Comprehensive Psychiatry 1997; 38(2):80-87
K. Krauchi, S. Reich and A. Wirz-Justice.
"Patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) selectively eat more carbohydrates, particularly sweets but also starch-rich foods, during their depression in winter."
"The highest CHO (carbohydrate) intake occurs in the afternoon and evening. Successful light therapy selectively suppresses CHO (carbohydrate) intake."
"CHO craving is one of the core symptoms associated with SAD, and this is reflected in the specific increase in CHO-rich foods intake during the depressive stage. The SPAQ+ (Seasonality Pattern Assessment Questionnaire +) showed that the amplitude of this seasonal food choice in SAD patients is particularly large for chocolate, cakes, and pastries." Abstract
High Intake of Sweets Late in the Day Predicts a Rapid and Persistent Response
to Light Therapy in Winter Depression. Psychiatry Research. 1993; 46(2): 107-17
K. Krauchi, A. Wirz-Justice, P. Graw.
"The intake of sweets may either act on similar neurochemical substrates to those affected by light or provide a behavioral marker for individuals susceptible to light response." Abstract
Disturbances of Appetite and Weight Regulation in Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Human Obesity: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1987; 499:216-230.
N.E. Rosenthal, M. Genhart, F.M. Jacobsen, R.G. Skwerer, and T.A. Wehr.
"As part of their winter depressions many SAD patients suffer from a reversible form of obesity."
"Humans, however, naturally increase the length of their photoperiod by the use of artificial lighting. If the seasonal changes in eating and weight described above are influenced by photoperiod , how is it that they persist despite the use of artificial lighting? The first clue to resolving this paradox came from the observation of Lewy and colleagues, that whereas the nocturnal secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland could be suppressed by artificial light in animals, it required light of far higher intensity (2500 lux) to suppress nocturnal melatonin secretion in humans. It was this finding that inspired the treatment of patients with SAD by extending their winter photoperiod with bright artificial light."