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Sunlight Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

July 24, 2004 | 43,922 views

Rather then going to tanning salons to get that bronze complexion, researchers found that tanners might be going for the relaxing effects produced by the ultraviolet light (UV) given off by tanning beds. Researchers said that these pleasurable feelings derived from the UV light might explain the repeat behavior of tanning bed visitors.

A Study on Teenagers Frequenting Tanning Beds

  • Participants included 14 young adults who partook in two tanning sessions a week for a six-week duration

  • The sessions consisted of two identical-looking tanning beds

  • The participants split their sessions in half between the two beds, one contained UV light, the other did not

  • The moods of the participants were evaluated at the beginning and then at the end of each tanning session

Results of the Study

  • The participants who used the tanning beds with the UV light reported they felt more relaxed and at ease than those who weren't exposed to the UV light

  • When presented with the option of extended tanning bed visits, 12 of the participants opted to continue their sessions and chose the bed with the UV light for 95 percent of their sessions

Researchers found the UV light that people are exposed to while tanning causes harmful consequences such as damage to the genetic information in the cells and could possibly increase the likelihood of skin cancer. Despite these findings, the number of people visiting tanning beds has jumped 300 percent in the United States between 1986-96.

Researchers came up with the theory that tanners continue with their risky behaviors to get the euphoric feeling produced by the UV light from the tanning beds. This was the main reason college students cited for their frequent visits to tanning beds.

Eurek Alert July 6, 2004


Dr. Mercola's Comments:

I was reading a book on sunlight and health and was surprised to learn that exposure to sunlight actually significantly lowered blood pressure. So I went to Medline and searched around and sure enough I found an article from 1997 from a peer-reviewed journal that supports this concept. In fact, it appears that the further from the equator one moves the more risk there is of high blood pressure.

Since my radar was up I noticed this article above, which supports the same concept. The teenagers exposed to tanning beds felt a relaxing effect, and since stress raises blood pressure, these teenagers experiencing relaxed feelings from UV rays are likely lowering their blood pressure.

The researchers theorize that UV exposure leads to the release of chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which are linked to both pain relief and euphoric feelings. The researchers believe that decreased vitamin D production actually results in increased parathyroid hormone production that actually serves to increase blood pressure. Another study actually found that vitamin D is a negative inhibitor of the renin-angiotensin system and this serves to lower blood pressure.

So the end result is you can happily ignore the advice of conventional medicine physicians that warn you to stay out of the sunlight.

Their advice is one of the major reasons why we have an increase in heart disease. We all need sunlight and when we don't receive it our health will suffer. We just need to exert common sense guidelines and always avoid getting sun burned.

One option to compensate for a lack of sunshine is through the use of BioPure Light Boxes. These devices provide full-spectrum light for you and your family that replicates the same healthy "ingredients" in natural sunlight.

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Let the Sun Shine In (Especially When Pregnant)

Sunlight Influences Your Risk of Getting Sick

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