What are the Health Benefits of Sun Exposure?

Is sun exposure beneficial for our health? Some health experts say we should cover up to decrease the risk of skin cancer, while other people say sun exposure stimulates numerous health advantages. To add to the latter, a new research now indicates moderate sun exposure may assist prevent the progression of obesity and diabetes.

The study team, lead by Dr. Shelly Gorman, presented their discoveries in the journal Diabetes.

It is common understanding that sunlight exposure – particularly, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation – is a major cause of skin cancer. As a result, health organizations – like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – suggest that to decrease the risk of developing the skin cancer, we remain in the shade, use sun block lotion and wear protective outfits.

But could these steps lead to us to miss out on possible health advantages? Sun visibility is the body’s primary source of vitamin D, and lack of this vitamin is considered to have adverse effects for health. A latest research, for example, related lack of vitamin D to all-cause death rate and cancer prognosis.

And last year, a research by Dr. Richard Weller and co-workers, which stated moderate sun exposure, presents heart advantages that may over-shadow skin cancer risks.

Dr. Weller worked with Dr. Gorman for this recent research, which viewed at how UV exposure affected the onset of obesity and diabetes in mice.

Nitric oxide production linked to slowed down obesity, diabetes onset

To reach their results, the scientists provided mice a high-fat diet to induce the onset of obesity and diabetes. The mice were then subjected to average levels of UV radiation.

At the time of publication, CRS did not have access to details revealing how long the mice were subjected to UV radiation.

However, the scientists say these mice demonstrated decreased weight gain and had fewer signs of diabetes onset – like as high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

Additional research demonstrated that this effect was not down to vitamin D but a substance known as nitric oxide, which the skin produces after sun exposure.

They arrived at this conclusion by using a cream that comprised nitric oxide to the skin of the mice, while other mice obtained vitamin D supplements. The cream induced the same obesity- and diabetes-reducing effects as UV subjection, while vitamin D supplementation had no impact.

The scientists note that earlier study has recommended that nitric oxide production from UV visibility can decrease blood pressure. “These results additional suggest that the amounts of nitric oxide produced from the skin may have advantageous effects, not only on heart, but also on the way our body controls metabolism,” says research author Dr. Martin Feelisch.

Dr. Gorman states that the team’s results are essential because they suggest that together with a healthy diet and exercise, moderate subjection to sunlight may help obesity prevention in kids – something that is a significant issue in the US.

With respect to the CDC, rates of childhood obesity have over doubled over the last 3 decades. About 19% of kids aged 6-11 years are now obese.

Leaving comments on the overall results, Dr. Weller says:

“We know from epidemiology research that sun-seekers live more time than those who spend their life in the shade. Research like as this one are assisting us to recognize how the sun can be beneficial for us.

We require to keep in mind that skin cancer is not the only condition that can kill us and must perhaps balance our suggestions on sun exposure.”

The team pressures, however, that since their research was performed on mice – nocturnal animals protected in fur that have little subjection to sunlight – their results should be considered with caution.

They say further researches are warranted to determine how UV exposure effects onset of obesity and diabetes in human beings.