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A look at how sun exposure might lower blood pressure

Posted on: January 31, 2014   by  Jeff Nicklas

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Researchers have found that ultraviolet-A radiation may help to mobilize nitric oxide into the blood stream, thus widening the blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.

Nitric oxide (NO) is a chemical that is important to humans. It is found in the diet in various leafy greens, like spinach, and is important in almost all organisms. NO, for example, has been shown to play a role in the immune system. Certain immune cells produce NO to help in destroying and removing foreign bacteria.

Additionally, NO plays a role in the cardiovascular system. NO is critical to the widening of the blood vessels, muscle relaxation, and the regulation of blood pressure.

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3 Responses to A look at how sun exposure might lower blood pressure

  1. Ian

    You have to now wonder how much of a factor UVA exposure is in Multiple Sclerosis. There are many large scale studies going on in several countries using vitamin d supplementation. We need a study that looks at both controlled UVB and UVA exposure in people in early stages and late stages of MS. I would predict that UVA and UVB exposure play a significant part in the aetiology of MS.

  2. Brandowbarry

    I’m curious as to why UVA was chosen over UVB, or for that matter, both, as in sunlight. I’m not implying it was a poor choice. I would just like to know if there was a (compelling?) reason to choose as they did.

  3. Jeff Nicklas

    Brandowbarry,

    Great question. The researchers chose UVA because past research suggests that UVA may play a role in nitric oxide, and they wanted to explore this link further.

    Let me know if you have any further questions or comments. Best, Jeff.

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