Edinburgh University has just revealed research results showing that the benefits of exposing skin to the sun are so significant they may outweigh the risks of skin cancer. The research appears to show that sunlight, or the UV rays emitted by the sun, release a compound that has the effect of lowering blood pressure. This in turn is thought to therefore cut the risk of heart attack and stroke and may even prolong life.

Sunlight has long been known to promote the body’s manufacture of vitamin D but the new research seems to show that it also promotes the nitric oxide which reduces blood pressure. Since heart disease and stroke linked to high blood pressure are thought to result in 80 times more deaths than skin cancer in the UK, it is thought that the benefits of sunbathing may vastly outweigh the risks.

Trefine Maynard, a clinical negligence solicitor at Ashton KCJ, said: “Further research is needed to follow up these initial findings but potentially this must be good news.  Not only are we being told that sunbathing is now a healthy activity but also that this will reduce risks of what are the biggest killers in society. It would be a simple and very natural remedy, if only we had a reliable source of sunshine in this country. I would hope that once further research has been undertaken we will be able to tell what amount and kind of sun worship provides the best health benefits, whilst at the same time minimising the risks.  There will probably be much refinement to the advice given as not everyone reacts the same way to sun exposure but at least this new research gives a hopeful message.”