Summer Temperatures a Surprising Health Risk for Men
Scientists have linked higher summer temperatures to a very unique health risk that appears to be a problem for men and a healthy advantage for women. As you might imagine it has to do with the physiological make-up of each gender as temperatures get higher during the summer months.
Now, let's be clear. Excessive heat is an issue for both men and women. Both genders and any gender that falls in between can certainly experience health issues brought on by summertime temperatures. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion are not exclusive to men or women, we both have to be careful when it gets really hot. However, there is a secret advantage that women have as temperatures rise.
The substance in question is a hormone called ghrelin. In layman's terms, ghrelin is called the "hunger hormone". Yes, it's that chemical signal our body produces that tells our brains we need to eat.
Before we get too deep into the subject, here's a question. Do you find yourself eating more in the summer months than you do in the winter months? According to science, if you answered yes, you are more likely a man and if you answered no, then you're more likely a woman.
UV exposure stimulates the production of the "hunger hormone" in men. A study in Israel found that on average, men consumed about 300 more calories when the weather is hot compared to the calories they might normally consume during cooler months. All that extra food intake is because of ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
Studies suggest that ghrelin and its production by the body are increased by UVB rays from the sun. As those rays hit the skin, the body does what nature intended it to do. The sun puts stress on the skin. The skin translates that to the brain. The brain says, let's eat. Or, actually, let's create a hormone to battle that stress.
For women, the hormone estrogen blocks the production of ghrelin brought on by the UVB rays of the sun. In other words, women tend to want to eat less and desire less food during the summer months than they might during the wintertime.
Another "effect" of the sunshine on our skin is this. It has a propensity to increase sex drive and testosterone production in men. That's because the warmer months are the "mating season" months. The sun also increases sex drive in women but not nearly to the extent it is increased in men.
So what have we learned? Summer makes men hungrier and more in the mood to mate. This means by the time August and September roll around the boys are at a sexual peak despite that spare tire they've put on around their middles. While the warmer temperatures make women want to not eat nearly as much but with sexual hunger as well. Dang nature, you're smart.
And that is why so many of you have birthdays in May, June, and July. If that's your birth month, did your Daddy work out in the heat? Bet he did.
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