It’s not often that something can be good and bad for you at the same time, but researchers at the University of Edinburgh have found something that’s just that. Something that can lower your blood pressure but will have doctors jumping up and down.
Scientists were looking for a way to treat some of the nutritional deficiencies that can boost blood pressure to unsafe levels, when they stumbled upon some fantastic benefits of what every health professional will warn you away from.
Tanning beds increase your risk of developing melanoma by 75%, but amazingly, the UV light in this “fake sunshine” was found to be great at reducing high blood pressure too.
The study saw volunteers receive the light therapy on two occasions. One time they got bright, warm lights, the next they were exposed to UVA.
Researchers discovered that diastolic (second number) blood pressure dropped by an average of 2 to 5 mm/Hg after they’d been bathed in UVA light.
And the effects lasted too. After one-hour, diastolic pressure still hadn’t increased, so something was definitely happening, but what was the cause?
One theory was that UVA light might have done what sunshine does, and increased their vitamin D levels, but this wasn’t the case.
So, why was diastolic blood pressure dropping so significantly then?
It turned out to be down to lower nitrate levels in the skin. These are some of the most harmful free radicals, and they’re present in certain foods and can be breathed in from smog.
The fact that tanning beds cut down on these horribly destructive substances is great news, but the fact that they’re tanning beds is not. So, while it’s really interesting what this research has thrown up, please don’t reach for the tanning goggles just yet if you want to save the skin, you’re in. There are much safer and healthier ways to reduce your blood pressure.