24 May 2016

Bright lights help lose weight, increase metabolism

The team found that exposure to bright light in either the morning or evening increased insulin resistance when compared to exposure to dim light. Insulin resistance is the body’s inability to move glucose out of the bloodstream, which can result in a build-up of blood sugar. This build-up can eventually cause not only an increase in weight and body fat but also an increased risk of diabetes. Exposure to bright light in the evening however also caused higher peak glucose (blood sugar) levels, a common problem for individuals with diabetes.

Kathryn Reid, senior author of the study commented, “These results provide further evidence that bright light exposure may influence metabolism. It’s cool that bright light has this effect, but we don’t understand why yet,” however she added, “In theory, you could use light to manipulate metabolic function.”
A previous study by Northwestern researchers published in 2014 also showed that participants who were exposed to the majority of their bright light in the morning had a significantly lower BMI than those who were exposed to most of their bright light after 12 pm, linking for the first time the timing, intensity and duration of light exposure during the day to weight.