A professor of pharmacology at the University of Alberta found that fat cells shrink when exposed to sunlight.
Peter Light explains that the sun’s blue light penetrates the skin and can activate the fat cells and allow them to release fat.
However, according to the researcher, only 1% to 5% of the sun’s blue light penetrates the skin. He warns the public that the study is not a solution to fight a weight problem.
“The study we published is more about observing an effect,” says Peter Light. Now we must discover the mechanism behind this effect.”
Professor Peter Light and his team accidentally discovered this by trying to modify fat cells to produce insulin, which could help treat type 1 diabetes. During the procedure, the team found that fat cells respond to light.
Other studies have shown that blue light, emitted by cell phones, computers, and other LED displays, reduces melatonin and increases our alertness.
Peter Light believes his findings may explain the weight gain some people experience in winter in northern climates such as Alberta.
Maggie McClure is a freelance writer based in Winnipeg. She has written for the Calgary Sun, Reader’s Digest, CBC Online,, Rogers Media and others. When Maggie isn’t busy writing, she’s working as a PSW in an aging care facility. Maggie mostly covers stories concerning vulnerable Canadians. There are several ways to contact Maggie here.