TUESDAY, May 23 (HealthDay News) -- A carbohydrate-rich beverage (CHO) containing 40 grams of starch, maltodextrin, dextrose and dextrin may help improve symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in Toronto, Canada.
David Mischoulon, M.D., of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., and colleagues enrolled 18 seasonal affective disorder patients in a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover trial during early winter. Subjects consumed the carbohydrate beverage twice daily, before lunch and dinner. The researchers compared its effects on mood and appetite against a control beverage (CHO/PRO) containing 25 grams of the active beverage and 15 grams of milk protein casein.
The investigators found that the CHO subjects had statistically significant improvements in work activity, middle insomnia and depersonalization/derealization compared to the CHO/PRO subjects. They also observed greater improvements in hallmark seasonal affective disorder symptoms such as oversleeping, weight gain and fatigue.
"High-carbohydrate, low-protein beverages may have utility in treating not only seasonal affective disorder, but also individual symptoms of mood disorders," the authors conclude. "Replication of this pilot study and further investigation of this treatment for SAD are warranted."
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