This might be the key to slow weight gain and the development of diabetes

OHMYGOSSIP — If you’re trying to manage your diabetes, spending more time in the sun might be the key. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton found that sunshine may control metabolism to slow weight gain and the development of diabetes.

British scientists took overfed mice whose fur had been shaved and exposed them to ultraviolet light (UV), the same rays in sunshine. After exposure, their skin released nitric oxide, a chemical most known for regulating blood pressure by dilating arteries and increasing oxygen (administered as nitroglycerine). But it also has other vital functions, including increasing strength and endurance. After exposure to UV light, the mice exhibited fewer of the symptoms of metabolic syndrome linked to diabetes, such as abnormal glucose levels and resistance to insulin.

A cream containing nitric oxide had the same beneficial effects as exposure to sunlight.

“These observations further indicate that the amounts of nitric oxide released from the skin may have beneficial effects not only on heart and blood vessels but also on the way our body regulates metabolism,” said Dr. Martin Feelisch of the University of Southampton.

Rays from sunlight also interact with the skin to produce vitamin D, which studies have shown to be essential for good health.

“We know from epidemiology studies that sun-seekers live longer than those who spend their lives in the shade,” said Dr. Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh. “Studies such as this one are helping us to understand how the sun can be good for us. We need to remember that skin cancer is not the only disease that can kill us and should perhaps balance our advice on sun exposure.”

The study is published in the journal Diabetes.


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