Sunlight May Lower Your Blood Pressure

Maggie Fox, Today, January 17, 2014

Here’s why sunbathing feels so good: It may lower your blood pressure, British researchers reported Friday.

Just 20 minutes of ultraviolet A (UVA) sunlight lowered blood pressure by a small but significant amount in 24 volunteers, they report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Further checks suggest the sun does this by increasing levels of nitric oxide, a chemical linked to blood flow.

The effects are so strong they may help explain why people who live in the darker north, like the Scots, have higher rates of death from heart disease, Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh and Martin Feelisch of the University of Southampton say.


Their volunteers got the equivalent of 30 minutes of natural sunlight at noon on a sunny day in Southern Europe. They protected their volunteers from the warming effects, just in case that was the cause. It lowered blood pressure by about five points, and the effects lasted half an hour.


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  • Spartacus

    So… Can we send blacks back to Africa now ? Call them “health refugees” ?

    • If we can’t send them back as adults, can we at least do it ‘for the children’?

  • Scots also eat a lot of fried food. This also causes death from heart disease.

    • Alexandra1973

      It’s not that it’s fried, it’s what it’s fried in.

      If it’s vegetable oil, it’ll mess you up.

      If it’s olive oil or coconut oil, it’s actually good for you.

      I have a good amount of Scottish ancestry and I do love fried stuff.

      • I actually did some work on that matter. Any oil is just fat, so they will all put the pounds on, unless you get exercise. Animal fats are saturated, and they will clog your arteries and cause heart disease, especially if you have a lot of salt in your diet. Polyunsaturated fats like most commercial vegetable oils readily form free-radicals, and these are carcinogenic. Cancer isn’t any fun. These were also once characterized by trans double bonds on their unsaturated carbon-carbon double bonds. Olive oil tends to be monounsaturated, and this seems to be the healthiest.

        Sadly, I was never a biologist.

        • Extropico

          My peanut butter uses mostly flaxseed oil, which is largely monounsaturated. I am certain this is the elixir of vitality I’ve been searching for.

        • NeanderthalDNA

          “The effects are so strong they may help explain why people who live in the darker north, like the Scots, have higher rates of death from heart disease, ”
          I would think this would be counteracted by the blood pressure lowering state of NOT being around too many blacks.
          Blacks are a far greater risk to one’s blood pressure than not getting enough sun.

      • Jack Burton

        Stay away from saturated fats and anything hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated. The latter is carcinogenic, really bad for the body.

        • Alexandra1973

          I agree with the hydrogenated being bad…but saturated fat is GOOD for you. I kid you not. We’ve been lied to in so many ways it isn’t funny.

          I’ve actually lost weight eating a lot of butter and coconut oil.


          • Bossman

            The man who started the whole cholesterol craze is still alive and does not believe that saturated fats are the problem. He is still alive at 99 and working to solve the problem. His name is Fred Kummerow. You can read all about him and his ideas at NY Times.

          • If one keeps down the salt intake, there is probably nothing wrong with saturated fats, especially if one is active enough to also keep one’s weight down.

          • Max

            SOME saturated fats are okay but hydrogenation is a means of producing more to completely saturated fats from partially unsaturated fats and you think that they are “bad”. The answer is more complicated thatn that. The number of carbons in the chain, odd or even, the location and types of functional groups and the number of “unsaturated” places and whether they are “cis” or “trans” all bear on the nutritive or detrimental character of fats. There is no one size fits all rule.

          • Hydrogenated rapeseed oil is safe to eat. Unhydrogenated rapeseed oil is used as a plasticizer in some kinds of paint precisely because it produces free radicals that help form polymeric cross-links. Unhydrogenated rapeseed oil was responsible for one of the worst cases of mass-poisoning in history, in Spain, I think in the 1970s. It was sold by crooks as “olive oil”.

          • Max

            Twas originally for fuel use then cattle feed. As I recall, it contains erucic acid and was causing blindness in livestock as a result of retinal (not the aldehyde, the visual structure) destruction. When they discovered the etiology they improved the purification process in some manner and/or genetics. Of course, nobody wants to eat something associated with rape anyway, so those sneaky white Canucks called it Can-ola.

      • Bossman

        The man who started the whole cholesterol craze since the 1950s is still alive at 99 years of age. He’s still working from from a wheel chair in his lab trying to figure out the real cause of heart disease. He eats eggs everyday fried in butter. Why is he doing that? It is because he believes that saturated fat is not the problem but oxidized fats are the real problem. Fats that have been subjected to too much heat. You can read more about him if you go NY Times. That is where I got this information.

      • Max

        Heating olive oil more than 250 f, particularly in air, makes it as bad as any of the other fats you fear from oxidation and attendant partial hydrogenation converting to “trans” configuration and modification of beneficial polyphenolic comonents. Frying will be far in excess of that temp and your “healthy” oil is now harmful.


        • Jack Burton

          Use oils with a high smoke point. Cooking oils beyond their smoke point is unhealthy.

      • Garrett Brown

        Aye my wee lass!

      • Jack Burton

        No, it’s both.

        Fried food shouldn’t be a staple of your diet, period. When you do eat fried foods make sure it’s a high quality healthy oil that’s not hydrogenated.

        You have a habit of saying crazy, backwards things. “The sun prevents cancer” and “fried food is good for you.” What else do you have in your bag of tricks?

    • Jack Burton

      You think salty, fried food might be a problem? Nah, let’s just lay out in the sun and get skin cancer instead.

      People don’t realize how much salt they consume in a day. Especially if you eat canned or processed food, they all contain crazy amounts of salt. Many people are eating 2-3x the amount of salt they need in a day and don’t realize it. Then they wonder why so and so suddenly died in their 40s or 50s.

      • Absolutely right. So-called “convenience” food is full of salt! I buy prepared sauces, but I always look at the salt content. If I don’t like what I see on the label, I make a substitute from scratch. I never deliberately use salt in cooking, even when a recipe calls for it. If the dish seems a little bland to my taste, I add more pepper, but not always black pepper. I use a lot of peppers in cooking, and when cutting one up, I always save the stems and seeds and dry those out before grinding the stuff as a spice. We have two coffee grinders: one is for coffee and the other is for things that we don’t want our coffee to taste like.

    • Peter Connor

      Don’t forget their favorite, lard squares!

  • dd121

    The real reason they have high blood pressure from low sunlight is that most spend their time in dark prisons. I guess also you could conclude that prison causes high blood pressure. There’s at least a strong correlation.

  • Druid

    I have low blood pressure. And it’s due to being outside walking for hours daily. All this insidedness (is that a word?) is no good for anyone.

  • bigone4u

    Good news and bad news. The good news is that blacks spend their days sleeping, which contributes to their high blood pressure, which slows them down. The bad news is that white tax dollars pay for their medical care unless they kick the bucket suddenly. The more disabled by sickness blacks are, the safer the white population is.

    • Jesse James

      Do you remember the studies a decade or so ago that claimed SSA was a transfer payment from black men to old white women?

  • Bossman

    That kind of news is not so recent. I once read an old book that I got from a used book store which said that sunlight not only lowers blood pressure but makes men more virile and masculine. Sunlight helps to create vitamin D which has a role in creating the sex hormones from blood cholesterol.

  • r j p

    Sunlight + bucket of fried chicken = high blood pressure.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Blacks raise blood pressure more than anything.

  • Extropico

    Nitric Oxide promotes tumescence. Giggity.

  • Alexandra1973

    My blood pressure’s pretty much always been at normal levels, and I live in NE Ohio.

    Sunlight, I might add, doesn’t cause cancer, but actually helps prevent it. If anything’s causing cancer, it’s sunscreen (I heard Australia once banned it for that reason) and I think I heard fluorescent lighting can cause it. Not saying go out there and soak up the rays, you have to go easy at first.

    It helps with Vitamin D3…which helps keep away the flu. I’ve read something about flu basically being a D3 deficiency…makes sense when you figure people tend to hibernate indoors in the winter. I also recall reading about TB patients recovering more quickly when they got to lie out in the sun, just roll the beds out there.

    I’m sure I get my daily dose, what with waiting for my son’s school bus, and in good weather I try to walk to places here in this small town.

    • Jack Burton

      “Sunlight, I might add, doesn’t cause cancer, but actually helps prevent it”

      You’re ass backwards, girl.

      Skin cancer is the most common cancer and is caused by UV radiation in sunlight and tanning beds.

      The less melanin you have in your skin the higher the chance you have to get skin cancer. Blonds and redheads need to avoid excessive exposure to the sun.

      If you can feel your skin burning, time to hide, like a vampire.

      Animals have enough sense to seek the shade, but you see people laying out in the sun.

      • Alexandra1973

        Next thing you know, you’ll be telling us that blacks are just like us, just with more melanin.


        As I said in another post, we are lied to in so many ways.

        • Jack Burton

          You are definitely like blacks. I usually don’t encounter people as willfully stupid and illogical as you are among Whites.

          Some facts about UV radiation for those with an IQ above room temperature:

          UVB exposure induces the production of vitamin D in the skin at a rate of up to 1,000 IUs per minute. The majority of positive health effects are related to this vitamin.

          It has regulatory roles in calcium metabolism, which is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system, as well as for bone growth and maintenance of bone density, immunity, cell proliferation, insulin secretion and blood pressure.

          For light-skinned individuals maximum benefits are reached within 20 minutes of exposure, after that you are doing more damage than good to your skin.

          Too much UVB radiation may lead to direct DNA damage, sunburn, and skin cancer.

          An appropriate amount of UVB (which varies according to skin color) leads to a limited amount of direct DNA damage. This is recognized and repaired by the body, then melanin production is increased, which leads to a long-lasting tan. This tan occurs with a 2-day lag phase after irradiation.

          UVC rays are the highest energy, most dangerous type of ultraviolet light.

          UVA is immunosuppressive for the entire body (accounting for a large part of the immunosuppressive effects of sunlight exposure), and UVA is mutagenic for basal cell keratinocytes in skin.

          UVA, UVB and UVC can all damage collagen fibers and accelerate aging of the skin.

          Both UVA and UVB destroy vitamin A in skin, which may cause further damage.

          UVB light can cause direct DNA damage. UVB radiation excites DNA molecules in skin cells, causing aberrant covalent bonds to form between adjacent pyrimidine bases, producing a dimer. Most UV-induced pyrimidine dimers in DNA are removed by the process known as nucleotide excision repair that employs about 30 different proteins. Those pyrimidine dimers that escape this repair process can induce a form of programmed cell death called apoptosis or can cause DNA replication errors leading to mutation.

          On 13 April 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization classified all categories and wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation as a Group 1 carcinogen. This is the highest-level designation for carcinogens and means “there is enough evidence to conclude that it can cause cancer in humans.”

      • We live in Colorado Springs, and the sun is a bit harsh at 6100 feet elevation. We also average 300 days of sun a year here. The original inhabitants of this region were a coppery color, so we wear hats when we’re outside in the summer.

  • Jack Burton

    Blacks have higher blood pressure mainly because they have such terrible diets. I knew a black nurse that had already suffered a stroke, and she laughed and said she still eats fried chicken and salty foods. That’s how stubborn they are, even at death’s door they won’t listen to reason.

    People typically don’t just drop dead all of sudden. Rather they’re just too stupid or stubborn to care about all of the warning signs their body is giving them.

  • M&S

    Sunlight forms huge amounts of free radicals in the blood, those free radicals cause enormous damage to brain tissue because they ‘pop’ at the blood:brain endothelial boundary, damaging neuron clusters.

    Age related sedentarism can also form ROS related super radicals as a function of altered midichlorian production and so your best bet for long life and higher intelligence achievement/retention is to avoid the buzz that sunlight gives you by baking your brain and feeding it oxidized blood sugar ions while still exercising, in moderation, indoors.

    Your brain at basal consumes 250 calories per day of 1,250-1,650 norm for adults. In learning mode it consumes 500 calories per day.

    It is the switch to high brain demand activities which is causing obesity in all humans but particularly whites and feeding that brain demand with high sugar food groups, in addition to deprivations of Vitamin D suppressing associated testosterone synthesis, which are likely behind our changing attitudes towards dominance and control behaviors necessary to maintain species separation across genelines.

    Where extremes of mood cause auto-activation of fight or flight stress hormones which interfere with and /compete with/ higher reasoning as a function of endorphin changes and caloric demands, the temptation to be conformist and ‘not rock the boat’ actually becomes a metabolic one.

    Food, particularly the so called ‘comfort foods’ with high caloric value as pastas and potatoes and sugary items in fact feed the brain’s sense of functional shock from lowering blood sugars.

    Imagine a brain that consumes 1,000 calorie days and then realize that the ‘other 1,500’ for the body’s base functioning would have to come with body builder levels of exercise to prevent enormous weight gain.

    This food buzz has an associated negative factor involved with it as well. Candida. Your gut produces many types of bacterial microbes and a lot of these are associated with the reduction of complex sugars and carbohydrates.

    If you have a large dietary intake of sustain-the-brain foods, the percentage of these yeast like reducers becomes extreme both relative to other microbes (they eat them) associated with vegetable and meat protein reduction (necessary for cellular building blocks) and to the gut as a whole, greatly affecting digestive efficiencies.

    One of the reasons some geneticists believe that we are on the verge of spitting out a new species is that the needs for daily complex and continuous synthesis of data in volumes that exceed what even just our grandparents dealt with across their whole life time is such that brain-body balances as functional emphasis are changing and part of this is the alteration we are inducing through indoor, sedentary, work ethics and the nutritional variations that make it possible.

    (Of course there’s also the heightened occurences of autism, ADD and a few other, negative, indicators…).

    Whatever we’re doing, whether it’s good for us or not, deliberate or accidental as an evolutionary forcing agency, is making fundamental changes in the way we interact with each other and our environment.
    We cannot afford racial accommodation stress as we deal with this phenomena as well.

    • Max

      “midichlorian production”?

      Maybe long ago in a galaxy far, far away.

      • Garrett Brown


      • M&S

        Oi Vey…
        It was late, I was tired.
        Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

    • Garrett Brown

      Anakin Skywalker?

  • Truth Teller

    Winter can depress me so much sometimes. I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    • That’s quite common. Before we were married, my wife once wrote me and said didn’t know why she felt sad in the winter. I suspect it is a hibernation response we inherited from some pre-human ancestor. I explained that it is quite normal in lots of people. Even with Colorado’s clear skies, the short winter days bother me, so I stay very, very active on shop projects in my basement and garage.

    • Garrett Brown

      I love the winter in all of its glorious cold and chill. I AM A VIKING!

  • Funruffian

    We get vitamin D from the sun. That is why so many people in tropical environments have that natural healthy glow to their skin. But wait a minute, what about those poor individuals who are so fair skinned they cannot spend more than 10 minutes in the sun without sunscreen?

    • Whites and northeast Asians also produce Vitamin-D from sunlight, but since we receive more sunlight through our skin than blacks, we are more efficient at this. Blacks living in temperate climates are prone to rickets just because the available sunlight isn’t enough; rickets is a vitamin-D deficiency disease.

  • If the weather is damp and cold and one must work outside, or even inside in freezing stone buildings, the answer is lots of calories and heavy wool clothes. Since Scotland was traditionally poor, those extra calories came from frying food.

    I lived in Edinburgh for a year when I was little. My wife grew up in Japan and considers home heat to be largely a waste of money, so long as the pipes don’t freeze and break. We have the heat set at 55 F, or 13 C for the winter, but it is a dry cold here in Colorado, and not that old damp chill I still remember.

    Edinburgh is as far north as Moscow, on the 56th parallel, but while it doesn’t receive the continental “deep freeze” temperatures, the relative humidity from the sea can really make a person miserable in winter.

  • Truth Teller

    I’m 71 years old. I eat at least 16 eggs a week. I get labs once a year. My cholesterol level is a bit lower than normal. Virtually all “studies” about the effects of food on health are funded by one of two entities. First food producers that want you to eat their food. Second food producers that want you to stop eating a rival’s food.
    That eggs will kill you because of cholesterol study was funded by Pillsbury Mills and the wheat farmers association. The pork and beef cause heart attacks and make you fat studies are funded by the chicken and fish producers. The natural plant sugar cause every childhood problem from bad grades to messy rooms studies were funded by the aspartame producers. The aspartame causes cancer studies are funded by the natural cane, beet and corn sugar producers. The corn syrup is worse than cane and beet sugar studies are of course funded by the cane and beet sugar farmers associations.
    Don’t believe a word of any propaganda about food and health. The studies are all biased.
    I also eat a lot of red meat and junk food. My BP ranges from about 95 to 125 depending on time of day. My Mother died at 95. My Father was an alcoholic who smoked since he was in high school. He died at 89. Some of my Grandmother’s cousins lived past 100.
    I find this obsession with food disgusting. Liberals seem to fall for the propaganda more than most people. Maybe it is the liberal version of kosher food; ” I am superior to other people because I don’t eat certain foods”.

  • Jack Burton

    You still need to be concerned about your health even if others are even more unhealthy than you are.