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Love A Late-Night Snack? You Could Be More Prone To Sunburn

If you thought you were well-informed about sun burn and sun safety, there could be a new risk of sunburn to worry about but this time it's because of our eating habits. Researchers say, if you are planning to go sunbathing, it is advisable to avoid midnight snacks and untimely eating as it might disrupt the skin's protective ability against the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Love A Late-Night Snack? You Could Be More Prone To Sunburn

Eating late at night can increase sunburn risk

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. If you are planning to go sunbathing, you should avoid midnight snacks
  2. Untimely meals may affect your skins ability to protect you from sun
  3. If you have a normal eating schedule you will be better protected from UV
If you thought you were well-informed about sun burn and sun safety, there could be a new risk of sunburn to worry about. This time it's because of our eating habits. Researchers say, if you are planning to go sunbathing, it is advisable to avoid midnight snacks and untimely eating as it might disrupt the skin's protective ability against the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The study indicates that people who eat late at night may be more prone to sunburn and longer-term effects such as skin ageing and skin cancer.

Joseph S. Takahashi, Chairman of Neuroscience at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre said "This finding is surprising. I did not think the skin was paying attention to when we are eating." According to Dr Joseph S. Takahashi what time you eat may affect your skin's ability to protect you from the sun.

In the study, published in Cell Reports, the team showed that mice that were given food only during the day, an abnormal eating time for the nocturnal animals, sustained more skin damage when exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) light during the day than during the night.

This outcome occurred, at least in part, because an enzyme that repairs UV-damaged skin -- xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA) -- shifted its daily cycle to be less active in the day.

The researchers said, mice that were fed only during their usual evening times did not show altered XPA cycles and were less susceptible to daytime UV rays. Takahashi further said "It is likely that if you have a normal eating schedule, then you will be better protected from UV during the daytime," Takahashi added, "If you have an abnormal eating schedule, that could cause a harmful shift in your skin clock, like it did in the mouse."

Besides disrupting XPA cycles, changing eating schedules could also affect the expression of about 10% of the skin's genes. However, more research is needed to better understand the links between eating patterns and UV damage in people, particularly how XPA cycles are affected, the researchers said.

So the next time you plan on a sunbathing session, avoid late night snacks the night before.

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