Sunlight Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

During the holiday break I was reading a book on sunlight and health and was surprised to learn that exposure to sunlight actually significantly lowered blood pressure. So I went to Medline and searched around and sure enough I found a five-year-old article from a peer-reviewed journal that supports this concept. In fact it appears that the further from the equator one moves the more risk there is of high blood pressure.

Since my radar was up I noticed this article today supporting the same concept. That teenagers exposed to tanning beds felt a relaxing effect. The researchers theorize that UV exposure leads to the release of chemicals in the brain called endorphins that are linked to both pain relief and euphoric feelings. The researchers believe that decreased vitamin D production actually results in increased parathyroid hormone production that actually serves to increase blood pressure. More recent research earlier this year actually finds that vitamin D is a negative inhibitor of the renin-angiotensin system and this serves to lower blood pressure.

So the end result is you can happily ignore the advice of conventional medicine physicians that warn you to stay out of the sunlight. This is one of the major reasons why we have an increase in heart disease. We all need sunlight and when we don't receive it our health will suffer. We just need to exert common sense guidelines and avoid ever getting sun burned.

Eurek Alert July 6, 2004

Hypertension 1997;30:150-156 Free Full Text Article

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