Exposing sun to may help you control blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack and prolong life, claims a new study.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh suggest that when our skin is exposed to the sun's rays, a compound is released in our blood vessels that help lower blood pressure. Our body's production of vitamin D triggers makes pressure-reducing compound called nitric oxide, which helps lower blood pressure. Moreover, the exposure to sunlight reduces the risk of developing skin cancer.
The researchers examined the blood pressure of 24 volunteers who sat beneath tanning lamps for two sessions of 20 minutes each. In the first session, they were exposed to both the UV rays and the heat of the lamps. In the second, the UV rays were blocked so that only the heat of the lamps affected the skin.
It was found that blood pressure dropped significantly for one hour following exposure to UV rays, but not after the heat-only sessions. However, the volunteers' vitamin D levels remained unaffected in both the sessions.
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