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Sunlight, Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

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“Increased bright sunlight exposure may be associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease by lowering blood insulin and lipid levels.”

— Constantinos Christodoulides, MD, PHD
University Research Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in diabetes and endocrinology at the Oxford Centre for diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism at University of Oxford, United Kingdom


Healthy, middle-aged adults exposed to more bright sunlight in the 7 days before providing a blood sample had lower levels of markers indicating risk for insulin resistance and dyslipidemia vs. adults exposed to less sunlight.

Longer exposure to bright sunlight in the 7 days before blood sampling was also associated with lower LDL cholesterol (mean, –0.36%; 95% CI, –0.66 to –0.07) and lower triglyceride levels (mean, –0.57%; 95% CI, –1.12 to –0.03); however, the association for LDL cholesterol no longer persisted after adjustment for the season and mean outdoor temperature.

Findings were published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Constantinos Christodoulides, MD, PhD, can be reached at The Radcliffe Department of Medicine, Oxford Centre for diabetes, endocrinology, and metabolism, University of Oxford, OX3 7LE, Oxford, UNnided Kingdom.