Help reduce Hypertension by getting outside in natural sunlight

Help reduce Hypertension by getting outside in natural sunlight

You could think that going on holiday and evading the treadmill of work is what de-stresses us, yet the sun may actually be playing a bigger role than previously thought.

Research from Edinburgh and Southampton Universities* uncovered that subjecting the body to the light of the sun could help to decrease hypertension by stimulating the skin to release Nitric Oxide – this raises the concentration in the bloodstream.

We obtain Nitric Oxide from leafy green vegetables and Beetroot. It helps our blood vessels relax which in turn can lessens our blood pressure levels.

They found out that sunlight was a fundamental element in releasing the skin’s substantial supplies of Nitric Oxide, enabling small amounts to get into the blood.

While too much exposure to sunlight can increase the possibility of cancers in the skin, the study suggests these hazards will be outweighed by the advantages of sunlight in cutting cardio-vascular disorders, such as high blood pressure.

Raised blood pressure is thought to cause around 30% of all deaths across the world, whereas under 1% of deaths are due to skin cancer, based on the World Health Organisation statistics.

The research explains why blood pressure rates are more likely to rise in the winter, and tend to be higher in northern countries.

The study exposed twenty four healthy subjects to Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays in two 20 minute sessions. The results showed an increase in the levels of Nitric Oxide in the blood, which diminished hypertension levels in the subjects.

Martin Feelisch, Professor of Experimental Medicine and Integrative Biology from the University of Southampton stated, “It may be an opportune time to reassess the risks and benefits of sunlight for human health and to take a fresh look at current public health advice. Avoiding excess sunlight exposure is critical to prevent skin cancer, but not being exposed to it at all, out of fear or as a result of a certain lifestyle, could increase the risk of cardiovascular disease”.

Obviously, even though a holiday sometimes is always welcome, there are numerous issues that cause high blood pressure, most of which can be altered by making small changes to your lifestyle, which can assist keep blood pressure levels down throughout the year.


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