Sun exposure makes men, not women, eat more: study

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Israeli researchers and their colleagues have found that sun exposure stimulates appetite among men, but not among women, Tel Aviv University (TAU) in central Israel said on Tuesday.

In their study, led by TAU and published in the journal Nature Metabolism, the researchers found that in males, sun exposure activates the protein p53, which signals the body to produce the hormone ghrelin, and stimulates the appetite.

In females, however, the hormone estrogen blocks the interaction between p53 and ghrelin and consequently does not catalyze the urge to eat after solar exposure, according to the study.

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The team combined a year-long survey on the eating habits of about 3,000 Israelis during the summer with a genetic study in a lab model.

The researcher explained that the human body releases p53 after sun exposure in order to repair any DNA damage on the skin.

“Our results provide an encouraging basis for more research, on both human metabolism and potential UV-based therapies for metabolic diseases and appetite disorders,” said TAU researcher Carmit Levy.


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