This archived forum used to be called 'Peatarian' (in reference to Ray Peat).

Morning sun promotes weight loss

>Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning may aid weight loss, new research suggests. Phyllis C Zee, M.D., Benjamin and Virginia T Boshes Professor of Neurology and director of the Northwestern Medicine Sleep and Circadian Rhythms Research Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and colleagues studied 54 people (26 males, 28 females) with an average age of 30. Participants wore a wrist actigraphy monitor that measured their light exposure and sleep parameters for 7-days in normal-living conditions, and their caloric intake was determined from 7 days of food logs. Results showed that participants who had most of their daily exposure to even moderately bright light in the morning had a significantly lower body mass index (BMI) than those who had most of their light exposure later in the day. "Light is the most potent agent to synchronize your internal body clock that regulates circadian rhythms, which in turn also regulate energy balance," said Professor Zee.

Morning sunlight improves blood glucose, reduces melatonin and also prolactin. I've read it improves liver function also.
asked Apr 3, 2015 by raintree

1 Answer

Peat says this:

Having enjoyed the mild climate of Mexico, I became very conscious of the harm done to us by northern winters, and began developing the idea of "winter sickness."  In 1966-67, allergies, PMS, weight gain, colitis, and arthritis came to my attention as winter-related problems, and I assumed that the high-latitude incidence of MS related to what I was seeing and experiencing.  Studies in Leningrad began revealing that mitochondria are injured during darkness, and repaired during daylight.  I observed that hamsters' thymus glands shrank in the winter and regenerated in the summer; shrinkage of the thymus gland is a classical feature of stress, and usually reflects the dominance of cortisone, though estrogen and testosterone also cause it to shrink.  Winter's darkness is stressful in a very fundamental way, and like any stress it tends to suppress thyroid function.  In the hypothyroid state, any estrogen which is produced tends to accumulate in the body, because of liver sluggishness.

Peat also says this:

Serotonin and its derivative, melatonin, are both involved in the biology of torpor and hibernation. Serotonin inhibits mitochondrial respiration. Excitoxic death of nerve cells involves both the limitation of energy production, and increased cellular activation. Serotonin has both of these actions.

In hibernating animals, the stress of a declining food supply causes increased serotonin production. In humans and animals that don’t hibernate, the stress of winter causes very similar changes. Serotonin lowers temperature by decreasing the metabolic rate. Tryptophan and melatonin are also hypothermic. In the winter, more thyroid is needed to maintain a normal rate of metabolism.
answered Apr 3, 2015 by visionofstrength
Ah yes, the "more thyroid in winter" thing.  You need sunlight every day of your life or you will die!
Circadian rhythms are true, irregardless of what Peat says.  The sun fixes all of it, period.  It's the missing link, not food!
I think Peat was one of the first to credit "wavelengths," such as circadian rhythms and electo-magnetic fields, and their disruption, as influences of molecular cascades, perhaps thirty years ago or more.
Yes, true.  I've read his work on these ideas is good. And certainly he was ahead of everyone.