High blood pressure is a major health issue and is of global
significance. It was only adults that are known to have or susceptible
to high blood pressure but now millions of youths are living with high
blood pressure knowingly or not. High blood pressure is a deadly
disease because one can live with it for a long period without knowing
during which it will be performing detrimental activities especially
to the heart and other vital organs.
High blood pressure, if not early treated can lead to other serious
illness such as diabetes, heart attack etc.
Several medications and different form of treatment had been developed
by physicians but current research shows that exposing our body to
sunshine can help to lower blood pressure.
Read on as I highlight the research of a group of researchers from
Edinburgh University on the relationship between sunshine and high
A group of researchers from the University of Edinburgh studied the
blood pressure of 24 volunteers who are made to sat beneath a tanning
lamps for two sessions of 20 minutes each. The volunteers were exposed
to both the UV rays and heat of the lamps in one session and in the
second session which was used as a control experiment, the UV rays
were blocked so that only the heat of the lamps will affect the skin.
The result is amazing as it showed that blood pressure significantly
dropped for one hour after the exposure to UV rays, but did not drop
after the heat—only sessions.
Scientist concluded that this shows that it is the sun's UV rays which
is beneficial to health as it lower blood pressure and also the
volunteer's vitamin D unaffected in both sessions.
This shows that exposing our skin to sunlight may help to lower blood
pressure as well as cult the risk of heart attack and stroke thereby
When our skin is exposed to the rays from the sun, a compound is
released in our blood vessels that help to lower blood pressure.
Though, too much exposure to sun may lead to skin cancer ( not in
Africa I guess ) but the findings suggested that exposure to sunlight
improves health overall as the benefits of reducing blood pressure far
outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer.
The research is vital to general health care because heart disease and
stroke lead to death 80 times than death from skin cancer in the UK
Until now it had been thought that the only benefit of sun to human
health is production of vitamin D but now we know that exposure to the
sun also lead to production of pressure-reducing compound-called
nitric oxide and is separate from the body manufacture of vitamin D.
Senior lecturer in Dermatology at the University of Edinburgh, Dr
Richard Weller made this remarkable statement: " We suspect that the
benefits to heart health of sunlight will outweigh the risk of skin
cancer. The work we have done provides a mechanism that might account
for this, and also explain why dietary vitamin D supplements alone
will not be able to compensate for lack of sunlight."
My thought is that our lifestyle is one of the major cause of high
alarm of high blood pressure the world over. Many of us don't want to
walk or work in the sun talkless of staying in it for health reason.
My major concern is for those that stay 24hrs in air conditioned
office, car and home.
I think that is why you see market women in Africa staying stronger at
old age while those not expose to sun are struggling with their health
even at a younger age because high blood pressure is the root of all
Therefore, everyone of us, rich and poor, should make it our daily or
weekly routine to expose our body to sunshine as the UV rays from the
sun lead to the production of nitric acid in our blood which help to
lower blood pressure.
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