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November 4, 2010

Lower Your Blood Pressure with a Little Sunshine

Did you know that blood pressure is higher in winter than summer months? It's true. According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, high blood pressure is associated with low levels of Vitamin D.(1) Learn how you can use a little bit of sunshine and Vitamin D to lower your blood pressure naturally.

Soak up the sun

Why is blood pressure higher in wintertime than summertime? Doctors believe it's because most people stay indoors during the winter or wear enough clothing that they don't get the Vitamin D they need when outdoors.

There are Vitamin D receptors in every cell in your body. You need Vitamin D to maintain your health. Your body produces all the Vitamin D you need from natural sunshine in just 30 minutes per day. If you stay indoors, slather yourself with sunblock, or wear clothing that blocks the sun's rays when outdoors, your Vitamin D level is going to go down.

Now, we're not recommending that you become a full-blown sun worshipper and spend hours roasting in the sun. Not at all. But once you realize how the sun can help your blood pressure, you'll probably want to spend a little more time outdoors.

Lack of Vitamin D increases parathyroid hormone production, which in turn increases blood pressure. Vitamin D also controls your rennin-angiotensis system (RAS). Your RAS system regulates your blood pressure. Low levels of Vitamin D activate your RAS system raising your blood pressure. (2)

Another cause of elevated blood pressure is stress. Studies show that exposure to UV rays in sunshine cause the release of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals in your brain that give you the feelings of happiness and relief from pain. (3) Adding a little sunshine to your life can actually help you manage and relieve stress that may be causing your high blood pressure.

As you can see, Vitamin D plays an important part in your health and your body's ability to maintain normal blood pressure. Do yourself a favor and spend 30 minutes a day outdoors. Relax and read a book or magazine, water the flowers or play with the family pet. You'll do yourself and your blood pressure some good.


(1) University of Alabama at Birmingham study

(2) Study on low levels of vitamin D activating RAS system

(3) Endorphin Study

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