New research into Type 2 diabetes has found that sunlight suppresses the development of obesity.
|Assistant Professor Vance Matthews|
Assistant Professor Vance Matthews from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Dr Shelley Gorman from the Telethon Kids Institute have found that ongoing skin exposure to ultraviolet radiation suppressed the development of obesity and diabetes symptoms.
“It seemed the effect was due to sunlight rather than vitamin D, as supplements didn’t have the same effect,” Dr Gorman said.
She said the findings are important as they suggest that everyday skin exposure to sunlight, together with plenty of exercise and a healthy diet, may help prevent the development of obesity.
Assistant Professor Vance Matthews said further research was needed.
“Future studies will be particularly insightful as they may highlight how obese Western Australians may be able to take advantage of our sunny climate in the future,” he said.
However, the researchers also said it was important that anyone concerned about the health benefits of exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight consult current guidelines on safe levels of exposure.
The findings have been published in the top international journal Diabetes.