Sun exposure = nitric oxide = lower risk of obesity/diabetes

Well, I’m glad to read about this recent study saying sun exposure may play a role in preventing obesity and diabetes. They used mice, and those little guys are covered with fur and don’t spend a lot of time in the sun. But in many ways their bodies operate a lot like ours, so the study conclusions can reasonably be expected to apply to humans in some way. But a lot more study is needed to confirm the theory behind this experiment.

The mice were given a high-fat diet to trigger the beginnings of diabetes and obesity. One set of mice got vitamin D supplements, and the other set got a cream with nitric oxide rubbed on them. The vitamin D group did get fat and start developing diabetes, while the nitric oxide group did not.

Moderate sun exposure gives us a dose of good vitamin D, so maybe the sudden shortages of vitamin D everyone is having may be related to the no-sun policy. And vitamin D is also apparently not the only thing the sun does for us. It also gives us extra nitric oxide. By complying with the stern warnings about no sun, we might be denying ourselves – and our kids – the very real benefits of sunshine.

A little sun is good for you? Yep. Like that babies generally love sleeping on their stomachs – and aren’t meant to grow up with flat heads from sleeping on their backs all the time – this one just makes sense. I hope they’ll replicate these results soon and people can start throwing away those 35+ level sunscreens.