Is it possible to become hungrier due to sunlight?

Is it possible to become hungrier due to sunlight? ...

New scientific research has shown that sunshine can induce men to seek food and increase their eating intake, whereas similar findings were not observed in women.

The study, published in the Journal Nature Metabolism, examined the relationship between UVBone, which is the source of invisible ultraviolet radiation, and increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.

Ghrelin is a hormone that boosts appetite, increases food intake, and promotes fat storage. It has been shown to increase energy, decrease muscle fatigue, and minimize muscle waste.

Sunshine, health, and illness are all aspects of our lives.

Sunlight and UVB exposure have a complex effect on human health, but they are a recognized risk factor for the most serious form of skin cancer, including melanoma, actinic keratoses, premature ageing, and cataracts.

Despite its negative association with UVB, sunshine has been shown to protect against heart disease, lower blood pressure, and release mood-enhancing endorphins. A recent investigation suggests the mechanisms could be more complex.

The new study, led by Dr. Carmit Levy, associate professor at Tel Aviv University's Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, has shown that the skin has a significant influence on energy levels, and suggests that this might lead to more effective sex-based treatments for endocrine-related illnesses.

Different reactions

Over a period of 12 months, researchers collected dietary data from around 3,000 individuals aged 2564 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition (MABAT) survey.

Men eat an average of 300 kcal more over summer months, compared to women whose calorie intake remained constant (1,507 kcal vs 1,475 kcal).

Researchers performed a solar exposure study to investigate the differences in detail. Five men and five women aged 1855 years were exposed to UVB for 25 minutes, with researchers sampling blood before and after exposure and analysing it.

The study found that exposure altered metabolism-associated proteins, and that men and women reacted differently.

The apparatus

In another research, the authors studied mice to observe UVB exposure. Over ten weeks, 24 mice that had been partially shaved were exposed daily to low levels of UVB. The mice showed similar gender metabolic protein changes to humans, while male mice increased their food intake and food-seeking behavior.

After UVB exposure, male mice showed an increased release of ghrelin hormones, particularly from skin fat cells.

After UVB exposure for five days, human skinmale skin showed an increase in ghrelin expression.

According to the study, DNA damage to the skin cells was the source of the release of ghrelin via the p53 transcriptional pathway, which may explain the differences between men and women.

Mir Ali, a bariatric surgeon and medical director of MemorialCare Surgical Weight Loss Center at Orange Coast Medical Center, CA, who was not involved in the study, spoke to Medical News Today about the findings.

When it comes to hormones and metabolic changes, gender differences are very common. According to the author, men and women have different hormonal responses to many different types of triggers, and the underlying hormonal balance is also different.

Future study

Researchers are far from claiming that sunlight exposure will increase body fat.

Dr. Ali noted that age, genetic predisposition, activity level, and concurrent health conditions all influence hormone secretion, and that much more research is required to investigate how we may utilize this knowledge to assist someone in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Nevertheless, this research shows that men and women differ in response to seasonal fluctuations that can alter their metabolism.

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