Could sunbathing really be more effective at reducing hypertension than drugs? The popular press’ reaction to the recent publication of research in this field would have us believe so. What we are really talking about is Vitamin D deficiency, which, whilst being a far cry from sunbathing is not unrelated to it as our main source if Vitamin D is synthesized by our bodies from sunlight.
Hypertension and lifestyle choices
When we think about our lifestyles and hypertension we more often than not focus on the effects of our modern’Western” diet or as it is also called SAD – Standard American Diet, and our sedentary lifestyles. Research recently published by academics from the University of South Australia has put the spotlight on how hypertension is affected by other lifestyle choices – keeping out of the sun and the use of UV blockers.
There was a time when having a sun tan was considered healthy, but the rise in skin cancers, even in countries with a temperate climate, has changed that perception. There is now a general fear that sunbathing might cause cancer and the current advice is to use a strong sun screen or UV blocker. This has contributed to a general deficiency in Vitamin D.
There are other aspects of our modern lifestyle that have had an effect on our production of Vitamin D. Most notably are our working habits.
We drive from home to work and spend the whole day inside. We then drive home again where we might spend a short time outside late in the day if the weather is fine, before spending the rest of the evening indoors. As a result, our bodies get insufficient sunlight to make enough Vitamin D.
The new research suggests that Vitamin D deficiency might be a contributing factor in the hypertension epidemic..
Can Vitamin D reduce hypertension?
The research shows that increasing Vitamin D in the blood by 10% reduces hypertension and lowers the risk of the condition developing by 8.1%. The best way for us to get sufficient Vitamin D is to spend a little time in the sunlight each day without using a sunscreen.
Killing two hypertension birds with one stone
An effective way of getting sufficient Vitamin D is take some outdoor exercise, such as going for a brisk walk in the sunshine but without applying any sunscreen. We know that exercise can reduce hypertension and that the benefits last for almost 24 hours. Add to that the benefit of increasing Vitamin D in the blood by 10% and your high blood pressure will be lowered by an even greater amount.
Sunbathing without using a sunscreen carries the risk of ultra violet radiation damage to the skin. We call this sunburn. That does not mean to say we should not sit out in the sun for a short while relaxing before moving into the shade. We should move into the shade before there is any reddening of the skin. In this way we also get a double benefit: increased synthesis of Vitamin D; and a period of relaxation, both of which can lower our high blood pressure.
Sunbathing cannot cure our hypertension because our blood pressures are a vital bodily sign, like our pulse, not an illness. However, the best way of reducing our hypertension to normal levels is by having a healthy balanced diet and by taking regular out door exercise. That way we will ensure a sufficient supply of Vitamin D from sunlight and from our diet.
You can find more informatiopn on reducing your hypertension to normal levels using natural means Here