Do you know why you continue to gain more weight during the winter despite your efforts to lose it? Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, have a surprise answer-the absence of sunlight. Can you believe it? You have to because the study was published recently in Scientific Reports. This opens up the potentiality of using sunlight for weight loss.
This invention was accidental. The researchers were working on genetically engineering subcutaneous white adipose tissue (ScWAT) to produce insulin when exposed to sunlight for type one diabetes patients. Accidentally, they found that ScWAT cells shrink due to the effect of blue light (the light we can see with our naked eye) of the sun. For those who don’t know ScWAT, it is the main fat depository in human beings and is very important in regulating metabolism. This white fat is also called the ‘bad’ type of fat because it stores calories for energy purposes and improper functioning of these cells can result in cardiometabolic diseases like diabetes, obesity, and heart health issues.
To prove their accidental finding, they undertook an exclusive study. They took sample ScWAT from patients undergoing weight loss surgery and studied the effect of the Sun’s blue light on the white fat cells.
They found that when the sun’s blue light wavelengths penetrate your skin and touch the fat cells, lipid droplets shrink in size and are released from the cell. That means, after exposure to the sun’s blue light, your cells don’t have as much fat as before. In other words, insufficient sunlight exposure during the winter climate is helping fat storage and thus contributing to weight gain.
The researchers warned that these findings are still in the early stage, and there are still many variables that remain unknown. For example, the exact duration and intensity of sunlight necessary for this phenomenon to happen are still unknown. More studies need to be undertaken in this direction.
However, the finding of fat burn properties of sunlight is a breakthrough invention. This certainly contains many fascinating clues for the scientific world to explore. Let us hope that this invention may pave the way for new techniques for weight loss and diabetes management.