Issue date: Monday, June 03, 2013
Sun exposure a possible cardiovascular benefit.
Concerned about sun exposure, premature aging of the skin and the added risk of developing skin cancer as a tradeoff for lowering blood pressure? Well, sunshine is not your only option to lowering blood pressure by increasing the release of NO. Consider a tried and true approach to wellness A.K.A. diet and exercise. The amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline found in nuts, fruits, lean meats, and dairy directly create nitric oxide inside the cell. Exercise (walk, run, bike, lift weights etc...) requires that more oxygen be supplied to muscle tissue. Oxygen is supplied by circulating blood. The heart pumps with more pressure. The lining in your arteries release NO. Vessels relax and widen, allowing more blood to pass through with less pressure, the result, a lower blood pressure reading.
A steady flow of NO release throughout the day is no easy task. Truth be told, as we age our NO system becomes less efficient. Scientists attribute this to free radical damage, inactivity, and poor diet. To make matters worse, sun exposure promotes free radical damage. Confused??? Sometimes research does that. To date there are numerous evidence based approaches to managing hypertension that do not involve risk associated with sun-exposure - diet, exercise, smoking cessation, weight loss, limiting alcohol and medication to name a few.
Bottom-line, this recent study may brighten up your treatment option but...the evidence remains a little overcast. Further research is needed to weigh the heart health benefits of sunlight with the risk of developing skin cancer. To learn more about evidence based approach to managing your risk for heart disease please call or visit The Karen Yontz Center. We look forward to being your ray of hope.