For those who indulge in sunbathing, this is good and healthy tip.
According to U.S. researchers, led by Dr. Aziz Sancar of the University of North Carolina, soaking up the sunshine or visiting a tanning booth is safer done in the morning or before lunchtime than doing it in the afternoon.
The reason, they say, is because a protein the body produces to repair damage caused by ultraviolet rays (UV) is most active in the mornings.
This is simply a confirmation that Sancar has shown in other studies that levels of the XPA protein – which repairs damage to DNA – wax and wane throughout the day and seem to be controlled by the body clock. He believes the XPA level in humans would be at its greatest at 7am.
This finding was result of a laboratory experiment in mice which developed five times more skin cancer tumors when exposed to UV rays in the morning, compared to those given identical doses in the afternoon.
Since mice are nocturnal and their body clock is reverse, the researchers believe that the opposite would be true for humans.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kat Arney, of Cancer Research UK, added: “Over the past few years, scientists have been gathering evidence showing that DNA repair is linked to the cell’s biological clock, and these new findings in mice support this idea.”
Malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, kills more than 2,000 people in the UK every year.