Saturday, October 25, 2014

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour - Can exposure to the sun slow weight gain and diabetes symptoms?

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour
Can exposure to the sun slow weight gain and diabetes symptoms?

A glimmer of hope for us sun worshipers today as the BBC reports that sunshine is an important element of a healthy lifestyle and could help prevent obesity.
Research on mice has suggested that exposure to sunshine could slow down weight gain and the development of type 2 diabetes.
Writing in the Journal Diabetes, scientists from Edinburgh, Southampton and Australia found that shining UV light on overfed mice made them gain less weight.
But vitamin D, produced by the body in response to sunlight, did not appear to play a role, the study said.
The research team said their results should be interpreted cautiously because mice are nocturnal animals, covered in fur, which are not usually exposed to very much sunlight.
After treatment with ultraviolet light, the mice in the study also displayed fewer of the warning signs of type 2 diabetes, such as abnormal glucose levels and insulin resistance.
Dr Richard Weller senior lecturer in dermatology at the University of Edinburgh said “Skin cancer is not the only disease that can kill us and we should perhaps balance our advice on sun exposure.”
These effects of the UV treatment were linked to nitric oxide, which is released by the skin after exposure to sunlight. When a cream containing this compound was applied to the skin of the mice, it had the same effect.
"We know from epidemiology studies that sun-seekers live longer than those who spend their lives in the shade. Studies such as this one are helping us to understand how the sun can be good for us.
The study suggested that casual skin exposure to sunlight, together with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet, might help prevent the development of obesity in children.
Dr Colin Michie, paediatrician and chairman of the nutrition committee at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the study results raised critical questions for us humans such as are the effects the same in our children as they are in ourselves? If so, can they be applied to prevent obesity, treat metabolic syndrome and save vast amounts of pharmacological treatment? Perhaps it is just a little sunshine that we require.
Amanda Thomas

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour
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