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Exposure to sunlight lowers blood pressure

Exposure to sunlight lowers blood pressure
9th May 2013

Spending time in the sun can help to lower your blood pressure, researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found.

This week has seen much of the UK bathed in glorious sunshine and many people have embraced the weather by heading out in their shorts and sunglasses, but there are always warnings about getting too much sun.

However, tests on a group of volunteers found that direct exposure to ultraviolet light can have a positive effect on blood pressure and may lead experts to reconsider their advice for exposure.

It is believed that UV rays help to release nitrogen in the body, which in turn lowers blood pressure and relaxing blood vessels.

Dr Richard Weller, a senior lecturer in dermatology at the University of Edinburgh who led the research, said: "We now plan to look at the relative risks of heart disease and skin cancer in people who have received different amounts of sun exposure.

“If this confirms that sunlight reduces the death rate from all causes, we will need to reconsider our advice on sun exposure."

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