Protect Your Skin from the Sun, Skip that Midnight Snack
Eating at abnormal times of the day may disrupt an enzyme that protects the skin from the sun’s harmful rays – increasing the risk for sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer – according to a recent study in mice conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of California, Irvine.
The study involved mice that were fed only during the day – an abnormal eating time for the animals, which are nocturnal. Then, when researchers exposed the mice to ultraviolet radiation – UVB rays – animals exposed to the rays during the day experienced more skin damage than those exposed at night. According to researchers, this surprising outcome occurred, in part at least, because the animals’ abnormal eating schedule caused an enzyme in the skin that repairs UV damage – called xeroderma pigmentosum group A (XPA) – to become less active during the day.
Results of this study were recently published in Cell Reports. More research is needed, but maintaining a normal eating schedule could help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun.