How being outdoors this way burns body fat

Happy three girls sun bathing near the pool.

Men who did this had 23% less body fat than other men…

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How being outdoors this way burns fat

Most people are unaware of just how large a role light plays in human health.

Over the last few decades, sun exposure has been decreasing. 

And researchers are beginning to understand how risky sun avoidance can be.

A recent experiment looked at the effect of artificial sunlight on weight gain. 

Animals exposed to artificial sunlight were 10% lighter after 12 weeks.

Those animals exposed to a healthy amount of light had an even greater decrease in body fat.

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The animal experiments took place at the University of Sydney in Australia. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases published the results.

Of course, overexposure to sunlight is a health risk. 

It is pretty clear that getting sunburned is a bad idea.

But the benefits of smart sun exposure are massive and overlooked.

“Sunlight exposure is associated with a number of health benefits including protecting us from autoimmunity, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.”

Originally, these researchers were experimenting on mice to investigate the role of ultraviolet (UV) light in skin cancer.

Strong sunlight puts out a lot of UV light. And these researchers used artificial light that mimics sunlight.

And the experiments led to a surprising result.

Mice exposed to artificial sunlight gained less weight during those cancer experiments.

“Mice exposed to chronic low doses of cancer-causing solar-simulated UV radiation gained weight more slowly than control, un-irradiated mice.”

This discovery made the researchers curious about whether safe doses of UV light could also limit weight gain.

So they set up an experiment to test this theory.

The researchers organized a number of different groups of lab mice.

They fed some lab mice a normal diet. 

They fed other mice were fed a high-fat and high-sugar diet designed to make them obese.

In both diet groups, they exposed some mice to artificial sunlight. The rest of the mice were not exposed to the UV light treatment.

“Mice were shaved and exposed weekly to 80 kJ/m2 of solar simulated UV.”

The researchers explained this dose of light in simple terms as:

“80 kJ/m2 induces a very mild sunburn reaction in most individuals, but is not considered a ‘high’ dose by the general population.”

This dose of UV light would be achieved by 20 to 30 minutes exposure to sunlight on a sunny summer day.

“This dose of ultraviolet light is equivalent to about 20 to 30 minutes of exposure to midday summer sunlight in Sydney, Australia.”

Mice fed an unhealthy diet gained less body weight when they were exposed to artificial sunlight.

“Exposure to solar-simulated UV led to a significant reduction in diet-induced weight gain.”

Those animals were 10% lighter at the end of the 12-week experiment.

“High-fat+high-sugar fed mice receiving solar-simulated UV radiation were 10% lighter than un-irradiated mice.”

The researchers carried out magnetic resonance imaging on the mice. 

These body scans can calculate body fat very accurately.

And the imaging scans showed even more exciting results.

Animals exposed to artificial sunlight had 23% less body fat at the end of the experiment.

“Magnetic resonance imaging revealed that artificial sunlight reduced total fat mass by 23% in mice fed a high-fat+high-sugar diet.”

The results show the importance of sunlight exposure for maintaining healthy body weight.

In recent years, there have been many studies showing that unhealthy people have lower levels of vitamin D.

But many vitamin D supplementation trials have been disappointing.

Some researchers now believe that low vitamin D is sometimes just a marker for insufficient sunlight exposure – and not that low vitamin D causes all of these diseases.

“Low vitamin D levels may be a marker of ill-health rather than a causative factor.”

Sunlight therapy was a trendy treatment between 100 and 150 years ago…

 And it may be making a comeback.

“There is something else about exposure to UV that explains the health benefits gained from sunlight, and has led to suggestions that sunlight exposure should be taken into account in the clinic.”

There are many benefits to sunlight exposure. But don’t forget that overexposure to sunlight is a risk too.

You should always consult a healthcare practitioner about diagnosing and treating any health-related problems.

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Matt Cook is editor-in-chief of Daily Medical Discoveries. Matt has been a full time health researcher for 26 years. ABC News interviewed Matt on sexual health issues not long ago. Matt is widely quoted on over 1,000,000 websites. He has over 300,000 daily newsletter readers. Daily Medical Discoveries finds hidden, buried or ignored medical studies through the lens of 100 years of proven science. Matt heads up the editorial team of scientists and health researchers. Each discovery is based upon primary studies from peer reviewed science sources following the Daily Medical Discoveries 7 Step Process to ensure accuracy.


Exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation limits diet-induced weight gain, increases liver triglycerides and prevents the early signs of cardiovascular disease in mice