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Food & Drink

Why heat makes men hungrier than women

The sun activates this in men.



By Pol Allingham via SWNS

A new study has revealed that hot weather leaves men more hungry than women.

The sun activates a protein in men that leaves them peckish while in women, estrogen blocks it.

Researchers suggest the new discovery is a biological legacy of UV hitting the skin to signal winter is ending and mating season is beginning.

It is the first-ever gender-dependent study on UV exposure which discovered the first molecular connection between sun and appetite.

The team from, Tel Aviv University found that in men the sun activates protein p53 to repair DNA damage caused by its rays, leaving them consuming more in summer than winter while women's food intake stays relatively the same.

Activation of p53 tells the body to produce ghrelin which stimulates hunger, but in women, estrogen blocks the protein’s interaction with ghrelin and stops magnifying the urge to eat.

The study published in the journal Nature Metabolism identifies the skin as the primary regulator for energy and appetite.

Woman feeding boyfriend with chopsticks
(Altrendo Images via Shutterstock)

Professor Carmit Levy, a lead author, said: "We examined the differences between men and women after sun exposure and found that men eat more than women because their appetite has increased.

“Our study was the first gender-dependent medical study ever conducted on UV exposure, and for the first time, the molecular connection between UV exposure and appetite was deciphered."

“Gender-dependent medical studies are particularly complex since twice the number of participants are required in order to find statistically significant differences."

"As humans, we have cast off our fur and consequently, our skin, the largest organ in our body, is exposed to signals from the environment."

“The protein p53, found in the skin, repairs damage to the DNA caused by sun exposure, but it does more than that. It signals to our bodies that winter is over, and we are out in the sun, possibly in preparation for the mating season."

“Our results provide an encouraging basis for more research, on both human metabolism and potential UV-based therapies for metabolic diseases and appetite disorders."

The paper studied the eating habits of around 3,000 male and female Israelis for a year, some of whom spent time in the sun, and combined their results with their genetics studied in a lab.

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