A recent experiment showed that exposing people to UV rays can measurably reduce their blood pressure. The conjecture is that the rays are promoting the transfer of nitric oxide via the skin into the circulation, thus lowering blood pressure along with risk of stroke and heart attack.
Dermatologists were quick to say this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still avoid sun exposure for fear of skin cancer. However, docs who did the experiment point out that high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack kill 80 times more people than skin cancer.
Hmm. Lower blood pressure, more relaxed = benefits of sunshine. Does this surprise anyone? How many millennia have human beings been seeking out sunny locales in which to spend their vacations?
In addition, no change was detected in the subjects’ vitamin D levels, when it’s long been a scientific claim that sunshine exposure helps raise vitamin D absorption.
Clearly, this is a small study, but it’s a good reminder that science sometimes needs to be taken with a healthy dose of common sense.