04:23am Monday 06 April 2020

Sunlight could reduce risk of diabetes

This disrupts our natural body clock and in the long run could lead to obesity and diseases such as diabetes.

“I think a disrupted body clock disrupts the metabolism much more than we are aware.”
These are the words of Mona Landin-Olsson, a professor and consultant at Lund University who works at the Medical Clinic in Helsingborg.

“In the summer, diabetes patients usually need around 10 per cent lower insulin doses than in winter. This could be because they exercise more and eat lighter food in the summer. However, the same effect can be seen, for example, on a short sunshine holiday to Thailand.”

Besides the fact that diabetes often causes fewer problems in the summer, more people are diagnosed with the disease in the autumn and winter. The more northerly a latitude one lives on, the more common diabetes is, as is the case for a number of other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. One explanation, according to Mona Landin-Olsson, could be the impact of light on our immune system.

“Last year we published a study that compared the sun habits of 35 000 women and their development of type 2 diabetes. We saw that those who sunbathed less often were more likely to develop diabetes.

The reason was not that these women lived less healthy lives, because the connection remained even if we took into account exercise and weight.”

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