New study shows sun exposure makes men hungrier, but has little effect on women
Ghrelin is a hunger-increasing hormone produced by the body in response to the activation of p53. Estrogen prevents the interaction of p53 with ghrelin in women, preventing the urge to eat after exposure to sunlight.
Professor Carmit Levy and Shivang Parikh, PhD student, from the Department of Human Genetics and Biochemistry at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine, led the groundbreaking research. The study was carried out in collaboration with numerous Israeli and international researchers, including Tel Aviv Sourasky (Ichilov), Assuta, Meir and Sheba Medical Centers, as well as Dr. Yiftach Gepner and Dr. Lior Bikovski from TAU Sackler School of Medicine and Professor from Bar-Ilan University Aron Weller. The research was published in the prestigious journal Nature Metabolism.
Epidemiological data for the study, including self-reports from students who had spent time in the sun, were collected during a year-long survey of the eating habits of about 3,000 Israelis. This data was combined with results from genetic studies conducted in laboratory models. The results showed that skin is a key regulator of energy and appetite (metabolism), both in laboratory models and in humans.
Professor Levy said: “We examined the differences between men and women after sun exposure and found that men ate more than women because their appetite increased. Our study is the first ever conducted on UV exposure Gender-related medical research, and for the first time deciphering the molecular link between UV exposure and appetite. Gender-related medical research is particularly complex because it takes twice as many participants to find a statistically significant difference.”