Monday, May 05, 2014

Exposing To Sunlight Might Lower Blood Pressure!

The 2013 statistical fact sheet released by the American Heart Association indicates that 77.9 million American adults (or 1 in every 3 adults) have high blood pressure. High blood pressure could not only lead to heart disease, it is also a major risk factors for other chronic diseases including stroke and kidney disease.

Despite of its seriousness, many who have high blood pressure are not aware of the condition because it has no obvious symptoms. In addition to medications, healthy lifestyle habits also play an important role in preventing and managing high blood pressure. For instance, people with high blood pressure should cut salt intake, reduce stress, stop smoking, maintain healthy body weight and limit alcohol intake.

According to researchers from the University of Edinburgh and the University of Southampton, exposing to sunlight could also lower blood pressure. In their paper published on January 20, 2014 in the ‘Journal of Investigative Dermatology’, they reported that just 20 minutes of ultraviolet A (UVA) sunlight lowered blood pressure by a small but significant amount. 20 minutes of ultraviolet A (UVA) sunlight is equivalent to about 30 minutes of natural sunlight.

In the study, 24 healthy volunteers were given the equivalent of 30 minutes of natural sunlight at noon on a sunny day in Southern Europe. They were protected from the warming effects, just in case that was the cause. It lowered the blood pressure by 5 points and the effects lasted half an hour.

While the effect of ultraviolet light was modest for people with normal blood pressure - a drop of between 2 and 5 mmHg (millimeters of mercury) in blood pressure, the researchers argued that a more substantial drop would be seen in people with high blood pressure.

It is understood that the sun induces nitric oxide release and modestly lowers blood pressure. Nitric oxide is a chemical linked to blood flow. This might help explain why the high blood pressure levels are higher and there are higher rate of death from heart disease during winter and in countries further away from equator.

Nevertheless, the researchers did not suggest people should sunbathe or use tanning beds hoping to reduce blood pressure. Instead, people should spend a moderate amount of time outdoors.

Excessive exposure to sunlight might raise the risk of developing skin caner, but too little would increase the risk of heart disease. The researchers fear that avoiding sunlight or using sunblock constantly could be a new risk factor for heart disease.  In fact, statistics show that more people die from heart disease than from skin cancer.

1 comment:

  1. Huge number of people has high blood pressure hypertension. Most of them take medicine which will effect in other site so It is not good for health but I have used to reduce my high blood pressure that is Mukta vati. This is a natural element for high blood pressure and it has no extra effect so It is good.