Sun ExposureMost of us are aware about the fact that sun exposure may have both good and bad effects to our health. Though some people mistakenly believe that sun exposure is linked to nothing else but danger, increased risks of skin cancer and other types of cancer, this idea is actually not true. Sure, staying on sun for hours, especially in between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. can lead not only to serious skin burns, but also to very bad health effects. At the same time, some regular moderate sunlight exposure is even essential for our health since this is the only way for our body to get vitamin D necessary for our normal health and development. Just recently it was reported that moderate sun exposure is linked to reduced risks of arthritis and arthritis related health conditions (see the related article here). The effects of sunlight on our health are being studied by many scientific groups and expert teams around the world.

These days, the findings of a group of researchers at the University of Edinburgh are being discussed after they had appeared in the most of health care related newspapers and online editions. According to the conclusions of the scientists, a 20-minute moderate sun exposure can be linked to lower blood pressure and reduced risks of many serious cardiovascular diseases like a heart attack or a stroke. It is estimated that every one of three modern people suffer from increased blood pressureModerate Sun Exposure (and the worst fact is that most of those who have this problems are not even aware about having it), thus are exposed to the mentioned risks of developing very serious cardiovascular health problems. That is why it is very important to be aware about the risk factors, monitor our blood pressure frequently, and learn as much as possible about the effective natural ways to decrease blood pressure. The one offered by Scottish scientists is, undoubtedly, a very interesting and a very easy one.

The conclusions of the research which are going to be presented shortly at the International Investigative Dermatology Conference in Edinburgh, were received by the scientists by a usual experimental way. They invited 24 volunteers for the experiment involving moderate UV exposure and studying its effects on blood pressure. During the experiment, all 24 volunteers were asked to expose themselves to a short 20-minute effects of an UV tanning lamp, and certainly their blood pressure was thoroughly monitored before and after the exposure. After analyzing the results, it became apparent that after this short UV light exposure the participants’ blood pressure tended to drop down, and it was remaining low for some time after the UV light exposure. To support the findings, the scientists exposed the participants to the same tanning lamps but without UV light. As the further research has shown, after such UV light free exposure there was a very brief blood pressure reduction registered in all participants, followed by almost immediate blood pressure rise back to the initial levels.

Further lab tests have demonstrated that during the UV light exposure skin cells of the participants tended to release nitric oxide, a natural chemical known as a substance helping blood vessels to relax. Therefore, the discovered effects can be attributed to the mentioned chemical release. Though the findings of the scientific group certainly require some further research to be confirmed properly, many specialists valued the findings very highly. “We know that moderate exposure to sunshine can have multiple health benefits, however this is the first time that the link between sunshine and stroke risk has been explored, ” said Dr Clare Walton, an expert from the Stroke Association. According to Nina Goad, an official from the British Association of Dermatologists, the findings can contribute greatly in cardiovascular disease prevention. At the same time, the approach should be used with caution since prolonged sunlight exposure if linked to increased risks for skin cancer, one of the most common types of cancer in the today’s UK.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.


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