I’ve been writing a lot lately about the importance of getting regular sun exposure. For one, we know it triggers your skin’s natural production of vitamin D, the all-important nutrient that helps ward off major chronic conditions like depression, dementia, Type II diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. Sunlight is also a great disinfectant.
And now—there’s some exciting, new research about sun exposure and blood pressure. So, let’s jump right in…
Flawed thinking about blood pressure
High blood pressure (BP) is the leading cause of heart disease and death worldwide, affecting roughly one billion people.
Of course, for decades, mainstream medicine has placed much of the blame for high BP on salt intake. But, as I’ve explained many times before, salt isn’t the end-all, be-all of high BP. And drastically restricting it certainly isn’t the answer, despite what the government and its co-dependents would like us to think.
In fact, many studies show a link between low salt intake and an increased risk of heart disease!
And now, a strong connection between sun exposure and blood pressure is coming to light…
Sunlight’s natural ability to lower blood pressure
It makes sense that spending time outdoors in Nature has a positive effect on the mind and body. After all, it eases stress…the No. 1 hidden cause of high blood pressure. (Learn more in the March 2020 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“The simplest way to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and ward off cancer—naturally”]. Not yet a subscriber? Become one today!)
Plus, when sunlight hits your skin, it leads to the release of nitric oxide. (Your skin actually contains more nitric oxide than any other part of your body.) And nitric oxide helps dilate your blood vessels and reduce adrenaline—both of which lower blood pressure.
So now that you understand how sunlight affects blood pressure, let’s get back to the new study I mentioned at the beginning of this Dispatch…
“Insufficient sunlight” a “new” risk factor for high blood pressure
For this new study, researchers followed 342,000 patients from more than 2,000 kidney dialysis clinics for three years. (Dialysis patients are a good group to focus on when you’re studying BP, as they typically get their BP readings taken three times a week.)
In addition to tracking the participants’ BP, the researchers also analyzed weather data to estimate daily sun exposure at each of the clinic locations.
Overall, the researchers found that the patients’ BP readings varied markedly, depending upon the season. Specifically, their BP readings were higher in the winter (when the patients got less sun exposure) and lower in summer (when they got more sun exposure).
Then, after controlling for confounding factors, such as higher temperature, the researchers still found a strong association between getting MORE sun exposure and LOWER BP readings among these participants. And they concluded that “insufficient sunlight” might be a “new” risk factor for high blood pressure.
So, in the end, my advice remains the same…
Spend time each day in the sun without sunscreen
Try to spend 15-20 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen. It’s not long enough to burn your skin, but it is long enough to substantially improve your health—and your blood pressure—naturally.
As for other ways to manage your BP naturally, I recommend the following steps:
- Learn more about how to manage stress and practice relaxation using mind-body techniques. (Find out which techniques will work best for you by taking this short quiz or by reading my book with Mike Jawer, Your Emotional Type.)
- Get regular, moderate exercise—preferably outdoors in sunshine and Nature. You only need 20-25 minutes a day.
- Follow a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits (even if you have diabetes) and vegetables—like the Mediterranean diet. Experts have long recognized the Mediterranean diet for reducing heart disease and many cancers. Traditionally, it includes healthy amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, some red meat, full-fat dairy (cheeses and yogurts), and good amounts of high-quality olive oil.
- Supplement daily. I recommend a high-quality vitamin B complex supplement that contains at least 12 mcg of vitamin B12 as well as 55mg of B6. Additionally, I recommend supplementing with 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
For more drug-free strategies to achieve optimal BP and to improve cardiovascular health, check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. You can learn more about this innovative online learning tool, or enroll today, simply by clicking here.
“UVA irradiation of human skin vasodilates arterial vasculature and lowers blood pressure independently of nitric oxide synthase.” J Invest Dermatol, 2014 Jul;134(7):1839-46.
“Does Incident Solar Ultraviolet Radiation Lower Blood Pressure?” Journal of the American Heart Association, 2020;9:e013837. doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.119.013837