(NaturalNews) In recent years, health experts have emphasized the importance of increasing blood levels of vitamin D as a way to prevent not just bone and tooth disorders but also autoimmune disease, cancer and many other chronic health conditions. Yet, rather than recommending that people spend more time in the sun, many health officials have instead recommended vitamin supplementation.
But according to a new study led by researchers at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Western Australia, and published in the journal Diabetes, vitamin D is not the only mechanism through which sun exposure improves health. The researchers found that sun exposure causes the skin to produce nitric oxide gas, which in turn helps the body regulate its metabolism and slows weight gain.
“We know sun-seekers live longer than those who spend their lives in the shade,” said dermatology researcher Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh. “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.”
Benefit Not From Vitamin D
In the new study, researchers fed mice a high-fat diet until they developed both obesity and diabetes. Some of the mice were then exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation — which causes the skin to produce both vitamin D and nitric oxide.
When exposed to UV radiation, the mice showed lower levels of weight gain, blood sugar and insulin resistance. Full Story.