Aside from giving us our much-needed vitamin D, sunlight may also help lower our blood pressure levels, reports Science Daily.

Researchers from the Universities of Southampton and Edinburgh conducted a trial involving 24 healthy individuals who were exposed to ultraviolet (UVA) light for one 20-minute session, and only to heat in another.

They found that sunlight may help alter nitric oxide (NO), a signalling molecule found in the skin that helps maintain proper blood pressure. This conclusion was based on a trial

According to the results, exposure to UVA dilates the blood vessels and alters NO metabolite levels, which leads to lower blood pressure and better circulation without tampering with vitamin D production. This is certainly good news for us.

“When exposed to sunlight, small amounts of NO are transferred from the skin to the circulation, lowering blood vessel tone; as blood pressure drops, so does the risk of heart attack and stroke,” says researcher and professor Martin Feelisch.

(Photo by David DeHetre by Flickr Creative Commons)

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