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Fat Cells Are Sensitive to Sunlight
Sleep Review Magazine ^ | January 31, 2018

Posted on 02/01/2018 10:56:14 AM PST by nickcarraway

fatcells A study by University of Alberta researchers has shown the fat cells that lie just beneath our skin shrink when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun.

“When the sun’s blue light wavelengths—the light we can see with our eye—penetrate our skin and reach the fat cells just beneath, lipid droplets reduce in size and are released out of the cell. In other words, our cells don’t store as much fat,” says Peter Light, PhD, senior author of the study, who is a professor of pharmacology and the director of UAlberta’s Alberta Diabetes Institute, in a release. “If you flip our findings around, the insufficient sunlight exposure we get 8 months of the year living in a northern climate may be promoting fat storage and contribute to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter.”

Light cautions the finding is only an initial observation and that pursuing exposure to sunlight is not a safe or recommended way to lose weight.

“For example, we don’t yet know the intensity and duration of light necessary for this pathway to be activated,” he says.

However, he added the novel discovery opens up new avenues of future scientific exploration which could some day lead to pharmacological or light-based treatments for obesity and other related health issues such as diabetes.

“Maybe this mechanism contributes to setting the number of fat cells we produce in childhood—thought to stay with us into adulthood,” he says.

“Obviously, there is a lot of literature out there suggesting our current generation will be more overweight than their parents and maybe this feeds into the debate about what is healthy sunshine exposure.”

The researchers made the discovery while investigating how to bioengineer fat cells to produce insulin in response to light to help Type 1 diabetes patients.

“It was serendipitous,” says Light, adding that his name is an ironic coincidence since light was not his primary field of research. “We noticed the reaction in human tissue cells in our negative control experiments, and since there was nothing in the literature, we knew it was important to investigate further.”

Based on the finding, the fat cells we store near our skin may be a peripheral biological clock, says Light.

“It’s early days, but it’s not a giant leap to suppose that the light that regulates our circadian rhythm, received through our eyes, may also have the same impact through the fat cells near our skin.”

He explains that the molecular pathway they discovered was first identified as being activated by the eye when exposed to the blue wavelengths in sunlight.

“That’s why you are not supposed to look at digital devices before bed because they emit the same blue light the sun does, that signals us to wake up,” he says. “Well, perhaps that pathway—exposure to sunlight that directs our sleep-wake patterns—may also act in a sensory manner, setting the amount of fat humans burn depending on the season. You gain weight in the winter, and then burn it off in the summer.”

This could be evolutionary process, supported by the fact that unlike many other mammals, our fat is spread out all over our bodies just underneath our skin, he says.

“Our initial first observation certainly holds many fascinating clues for our team and others around the world to explore,” he says.

The principal author of the Scientific Reports (by Nature) paper is Light’s student Katarina Ondrusova and the second author is Light’s research associate Mohammad Fatehi.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine; Science
KEYWORDS: brownfat; canada; diabetes; dietandcuisine; katarinaondrusova; mohammadfatehi; peterlight; uofalberta; vitamind; whitefat
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1 posted on 02/01/2018 10:56:15 AM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

I know a few Polynesians who’d dispute this.


2 posted on 02/01/2018 10:58:55 AM PST by Buttons12
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To: nickcarraway

How is it that brain cells die, but fat cells live forever?


3 posted on 02/01/2018 11:00:16 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Conservatives love America for what it is. Liberals hate America for the same reason.)
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To: nickcarraway

I don't think so, Tim...................

4 posted on 02/01/2018 11:00:56 AM PST by Red Badger (Wanna surprise? Google your own name. Wanna have fun? Google your friends names......)
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To: nickcarraway

Is that why there are so many role-poly sun bathers?


5 posted on 02/01/2018 11:01:09 AM PST by Parmy
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To: nickcarraway

I wonder if the red/blue shift as we approach and move away from the sun each year is detectable?

My guess is yes, but I’ve never seen any research on it.

I suspect our bodies can sense spring is coming from that. I swear I feel like I can.


6 posted on 02/01/2018 11:04:47 AM PST by Mr. K (No consequence of repealing Obamacare is worse than Obamacare itself.)
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To: Mr. K

What if you feel better in cold weather and shun the hot sun?


7 posted on 02/01/2018 11:10:28 AM PST by LYDIAONTARIO
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To: nickcarraway
Not all that helpful for morbidly obese vampires...


8 posted on 02/01/2018 11:11:07 AM PST by Ciaphas Cain (Liberalism, as with all else evil, can never create. It can only corrupt.)
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To: nickcarraway; AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Thanks nickcarraway.
when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun
Well, that sounds easy -- but then I remember the words of Al Bundy, when confronted by a large woman who wants to get that all-over tan:
you're asking a lot of the Sun.

9 posted on 02/01/2018 11:13:22 AM PST by SunkenCiv (www.tapatalk.com/groups/godsgravesglyphs/, forum.darwincentral.org, www.gopbriefingroom.com)
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To: SunkenCiv

Al Bundy - at least I’m not him.


10 posted on 02/01/2018 11:17:09 AM PST by wally_bert (I didn't get where I am today by selling ice cream tasting of bookends, pumice stone & West Germany)
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To: Red Badger

twerkin’ atop the ruins of western civilization.


11 posted on 02/01/2018 11:18:52 AM PST by ichabod1 (People don't want to believe it be what it is but it do.)
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To: nickcarraway
“If you flip our findings around, the insufficient sunlight exposure we get 8 months of the year living in a northern climate may be promoting fat storage and contribute to the typical weight gain some of us have over winter.”

Promoting fat storage in winter's probably a survival adaptation...

12 posted on 02/01/2018 11:22:36 AM PST by GOPJ (Republicans care about Americans. Democrats care about illegals, corrupt elites, and criminals.)
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To: Parmy

Well, their masticatory gourmandization probably plays a role in that outcome too.

Here's a song relating to that process and its outcome...

       "Roly Poly - Hank Williams

13 posted on 02/01/2018 11:23:49 AM PST by Pray All Day ("Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17)
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To: Ciaphas Cain

There are worse things out tonight than vampires.


14 posted on 02/01/2018 11:28:40 AM PST by bramps (It's the Islam, stupid!)
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To: nickcarraway

“Light” would make this finding.


15 posted on 02/01/2018 11:30:45 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: wally_bert

“This must be what my horoscope meant by ‘Kaboom!’”


16 posted on 02/01/2018 11:34:43 AM PST by SunkenCiv (www.tapatalk.com/groups/godsgravesglyphs/, forum.darwincentral.org, www.gopbriefingroom.com)
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To: nickcarraway

Well peel my skin and call me Bean Pole. Sign me up!


17 posted on 02/01/2018 11:36:20 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Ban pre-shredded cheese now! Make America Grate Again.)
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To: nickcarraway

Didn’t I see one of those lights on the back of a comic book ?


18 posted on 02/01/2018 11:47:15 AM PST by stylin19a (Best.Election.of.All-Times.Ever.In.The.History.Of.Ever)
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To: Red Badger

Now, now. You will get the FR chubbo lovers all excited. No need for “more cheesburgers” here.


19 posted on 02/01/2018 11:59:04 AM PST by doorgunner69 (Give me the liberty to take care of my own security..........)
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To: LYDIAONTARIO

then you build up fat cells to insulate you, and avoid the sun which would shrink them.


20 posted on 02/01/2018 12:01:02 PM PST by Mr. K (No consequence of repealing Obamacare is worse than Obamacare itself.)
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