A new study echoes findings of previous research, indicating that taking vitamin D supplements does not provide some of the purported health benefits, but a report on the research from The Times clarifies the resounding point: sunlight, not supplements, is the answer.
“People with high measures of vitamin D in their blood are indeed healthier. But it’s not vitamin D that brings benefit for things such as heart health,” Dr. Richard Weller, honorary consultant dermatologist at the University of Edinburgh, told The Times. “Instead, vitamin D is a marker for sunlight exposure. It’s sunlight that’s vital.”
For years, Weller has been a pioneer in the study of sunlight-induced nitric oxide. His 2014 study showed that sun exposure triggers the release of Nitric Oxide. “This dilates blood vessels and lowers our blood pressure,” he says. “My work shows that natural sunlight seems to prevent hypertension and cardiovascular disease, the biggest killer in the world.”
The Times article also reports additional evidence that backs Weller’s findings: “Cardiovascular disease is known to vary according to season and latitude, with higher levels in winter and in countries further from the equator, where sunlight levels fall.”
“Pre-pandemic, when the NHS used to have a winter bed crisis (rather than today’s year-round bed crisis) much of the problem was caused by the fact that there were some 23 per cent more cases of heart attack and heart disease in winter,” Weller says. “Lack of sun seems a significant cause. In fact all the evidence shows that the more sunlight people have the longer they live.”
The article also reports on a separate study that identifies yet another benefit that can’t be derived from supplements.
“Dr Gerard Ahern, an associate professor of pharmacology at Georgetown University, Washington, has discovered that blue light from sun rays accelerates the activity of infection-killing white blood cells called T cells. This enables them to catch and kill infectious invaders faster.”
Click here to read the article from The Times.
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