"This implies it is UV radiation, not heat, which is responsible for the beneficial effects. The researchers believe sunlight unlocks nitric oxide stored in skin and widens arteries. Both effects lower blood pressure"
Dr. Furchgott and the Discovery of Photorelaxation
I've been reading up on the effect of UV rays on the body, and I came back to the research of Nobel prize winning researcher, Dr. Robert F. Furchgott. He passed away in 2009, and his university keeps his web page online. Dr. Furchgott was a professor at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY---the same place where Dr. Sal Sclafani recently retired and where the first CCSVI conference was held in the US! Here's Dr. Furchgott's page--
http://www.downstate.edu/pharmacology/f ... hgott.html
Dr. Furchgott discovered the process of photorelaxation over 40 years ago. What he noted in the lab was that exposure to UV rays changed the endothelium, encouraging nitric oxide production and vasodilation of arteries. In 2009, before he passed, he stated the current working hypothesis--
"The present working hypothesis is that light photoactivates some material in the vascular smooth muscle, causing the release of some product which stimulates the guanylyl cyclase to produce cGMP. We are planning experiments to test this hypothesis. One possibility is that the vascular smooth muscle in vivo accumulates some "end pro" formed from the endothelium-derived nitric oxide, and that this product releases NO intracellularly when exposed to the proper wavelengths of light."
Photorelaxation and the Cardiovascular system
Research into the connection of blood pressure and cardiovascular disease in northern latitudes continues....and the connection appears to be that of nitric oxide and UV rays.
http://circres.ahajournals.org/cgi/cont ... 05/10/1031
Interestingly, mean systolic and diastolic pressures and the prevalence of hypertension vary throughout the world. Many data suggest a linear rise in blood pressure at increasing distances from the equator. Similarly, blood pressure is higher in winter than summer.3
Thanks for the links back to your older posts and the information on the research of Nobel Prize winning researcher, Dr. Robert F. Furchgott. I had read your posts on nitric oxide's relationship to vasodilatation but many times I have to read things twice for it to sink in.
This is a huge connection to me. And yes I know that correlation is not causation, but whenever I mention to folks with loved ones with MS that MS may be a vascular issue in their neck and brain they always come back and site the very strong statistical evidence that MS is a disease related to Vitamin D deficiencies and Northern Latitudes. Every time I don't really have a good answer to that correlation.
You have no idea how much I respect medical researchers.
For those who are interested and want to read more research, here's a fascinating paper on UV rays and MS by Dr. Hector DeLuca of the University of Wisconsin.
about the research: For more than 30 years, scientists have known that multiple sclerosis (MS) is much more common in higher latitudes than in the tropics. Because sunlight is more abundant near the equator, many researchers have wondered if the high levels of vitamin D engendered by sunlight could explain this unusual pattern of prevalence.
Vitamin D may reduce the symptoms of MS, says Hector DeLuca, Steenbock Research Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but in a study published in PNAS this week, he and first author Bryan Becklund suggest that the ultraviolet portion of sunlight may play a bigger role than vitamin D in controlling MS.
Here's Dr. DeLuca and Dr. Beckland's full paper.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/ ... l.pdf+html
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