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Exposure to daylight could help control obesity

Exposure to sunlight might be the answer to weight problems during winter months, according to a new British research, which might lead to new treatments for the prevention or reversal of obesity.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found exposure to daylight could promote Brown adipose tissue (BAT) function, more common in females, leading to new ways of preventing obesity. BAT brown fat's primary function is to generate body heat to keep one from shivering. It is capable of producing up to 300 times more heat per unit mass compared with all other tissues. Therefore, promoting BAT function could prevent or reduce obesity in some people, the researchers said.

The new study, led by Michael Symonds, Professor of Developmental Physiology at the university, has shown for the first time that daylight is a major factor in controlling BAT activity."Our research has suggested a previously unknown mechanism for controlling BAT function in humans and this could potentially lead to new treatments for the prevention or reversal of obesity," said Professor Symonds. The body's requirements for BAT has been reduced in recent times by central heating plus global warming.

The research, was published in the journal'Diabetes'.

The brown fat is activated by the cold and is unique in being able to produce very large amounts of heat— but little is known about the main factors that regulate the amount of BAT in our bodies.

Professor Symonds said,"Our research demonstrates a very strong seasonal variation in the presence of BAT. The study focused on the impact of daylight and ambient temperature as these are two key factors in determining BAT function in small mammals."Our exciting new findings may help us find novel interventions aimed at promoting BAT activity particularly in the winter", he added.
Source: PTI

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