Beta Endorphins Create Sun-Tanning Junkies

June 20, 2014 2:01 PM

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Beta Endorphins Create Sun-Tanning Junkies

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report that chronic ultraviolet (UV) light exposure raises circulating levels of beta-endorphin in mice and that UV-habituated mice show withdrawal symptoms if beta-endorphin activity is blocked. In other words, spending time in the sun can be addictive.

"Our study identified an organic pathway encoded in skin whereby UV radiation causes the synthesis and release of beta-endorphin and produces opiate-like effects, including addictive behavior," says David E. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D., chair of dermatology and director of the Cutaneous Biology Research Cen...

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