How sunbathing can be as addictive as heroin

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Turns out sunshine is as addictive as heroin. Sign us up to Sunbathers Anonymous.

Woman sunbathing on the beach in a bikini
Hit the swimming pool as soon as you land and move your beach towel in time with the sun? Sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you might be an addict.

Because new research by Harvard Medical School shows that sunshine may be as addictive as heroin.

We apparently crave our sunshine fix the same addicts crave drugs, and the UV rays of the sum stimulate the production of endorphins, the 'feel good' hormone that act the same way as opioid drugs like morphine.

The study involved exposing naked mice to UV rays for six weeks. At the end of it, they were given an opioid-blocking drug to block the effects of the sun.

The result was them going massively cold turkey, with symptoms including shaking and tremors.

Lead scientist Dr David Fisher said: ''We suspect that the explanation involves UV's contribution to vitamin D synthesis in the skin. However, in the current time, there are much safer and more reliable sources of vitamin D that do not come with carcinogenic risk, so there is real health value in avoiding sunlight as a source of vitamin D.''

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