We All Need A Little Sunshine - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

We All Need A Little Sunshine

Experts say a holiday really IS good for you.  Sunshine reduces your blood pressure, and it cuts the risk of heart attack and stroke.

And all it takes is a little bit of sunshine.

Even a short, sharp blast from a tanning lamp can cause blood pressure to fall, scientists have found. 

So experts are in limbo.  We are told to avoid the sun to protect against skin cancer, and now new evidence shows not enough sunlight could raise the odds of heart problems. 

Researchers now believe the benefits of sunlight may outweigh the risks of skin cancer. 

Heart disease is by far a bigger killer.

The study was done by experts at Southampton and Edinburgh Universities exposed the skin of 24 healthy young men to a sun lamp for 20 minutes and measured their blood pressure. 

The blood pressure dropped significantly and remained low for at least 30 minutes after the lamp switched off. 

Most studies about sunlight usually credit vitamin D with any health benefits.  But in this case with blood pressure, a different compound is at work.  Scientists believe the UVA rays trigger the release of a compound called nitric oxide from the skin. 

The nitric oxide travels to the blood vessels and relaxes them. 

Experts say this could explain why rates of heart disease goes up in the winter - and why cardiac health is worse in countries further from the equator. 


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