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Friday, 24 October 2014

Sunlight is key to fighting childhood obesity and diabetes -

Sunlight is key to fighting childhood obesity and diabetes - 

A natural gas called nitric oxide, which is released by the skin after exposure to sunlight, helps people to control their metabolism and slow weight gain.

Rubbing a cream containing nitric oxide on to the skin can have the same effect, experts from the University of Edinburgh have found.

The discovery could lead to a treatment that halts the progress of Type 2 diabetes, which is fuelled by obesity and an unhealthy lifestyle and costs the NHS £9billion a year.

Scientists from Edinburgh and Southampton, led by colleagues at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia, found applying nitric oxide to the skin of overfed mice had the same effect of curbing weight gain as exposing them to ultra-violet light.

The mice displayed fewer warning signs of diabetes, such as abnormal glucose levels and resistance to insulin.

The findings, published in the journal Diabetes, show the benefits of moderate exposure to the sun’s rays.

Dr Richard Weller, senior lecturer in dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, said: “We know sun-seekers live longer than those who spend their lives in the shade. Studies such as this 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.”

Previous studies have shown that nitric oxide can lower blood pressure after exposure to ultra-violet lamps.


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