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Benefits Of Sunlight Exposure On Blood Pressure Outweigh Skin Cancer Risks

May 7, 2013: 12:00 AM EST
A British study concluded that exposure to sunlight improves health overall, especially blood pressure, and the benefits – a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke – far outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer. In the study 24 volunteers sat under tanning lamps for two 20-minute sessions. In one session volunteers were exposed to UV rays; in the other UV rays were blocked so only the heat affected their skin. Subsequently, blood pressure dropped for one hour following exposure to UV rays, but not in the heat only sessions. Scientists said exposure to UV rays produces a pressure relieving compound called nitric oxide.
Richard Weller et al., "Sunshine Could Benefit Health and Prolong Life, Study Suggests", News release, study presented at a conference of skin experts in Edinburgh, U.K., May 07, 2013, © Weller et al.
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