Richard Weller

University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh, United Kingdom

About Richard

Areas of Expertise

Dermatology, Photobiology

Comments & conversations

180203
Richard Weller
Posted 11 months ago
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?
yes- this was a key part of the experiment, because heat has been assumed to underlie the summer fall in BP. The covered but irradiated (i.e. sham irradiated) subjects had a fall in BP during the irradiation when there temperature rose, but BP returned to normal when the lamps were turned off. the active group, who were not covered, so the rays hit there skin had a sustained fall in BP. You can download the manuscript of my paper at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259826136_UVA_Irradiation_of_Human_Skin_Vasodilates_Arterial_Vasculature_and_Lowers_Blood_Pressure_Independently_of_Nitric_Oxide_Synthase Richard
180203
Richard Weller
Posted 12 months ago
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?
Davis- absolutely correct to ask; and yes we carefully controlled for temperature in just the way you describe with the skin covered. Warmth produced a temporary fall in BP while the lamps were on- and then it returned to normal. The active irradiation when the UV rays hit the skin produced a sustained fall in BP, while the lights were on and for up to one hour afterwards. Richard
180203
Richard Weller
Posted about 2 years ago
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?
Interesting question. How much skin does one need to expose to get maximum benefit from sunlight is another way you could put it. If there is a linear dose-response, then the greater the surface area exposed, the greater the release of NO and fall in BP. This doesn't account for hte intensity of light though. The sun is stronger in most of Oz than here in Scotland. Does that affect NO release, and by how much. Maybe a small bit of skin in Oz equates to the whole body in Edinburgh? More questions we want to answer; and you would be a lot more comfortable naked in Oz than in chilly Edinburgh I can promise you! Richard
180203
Richard Weller
Posted about 2 years ago
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?
Joana thanks for the comment. I suspect Warfarin (Marevan) will not interact with NO effects on blood flow, as NO affects platelet activity and reduces clotting, while Warfarin acts on Vitamin K dependent clotting factors. the reason to avoid green leafy vegetables whilst on warfarin is that they contain Vitamin K Richard
180203
Richard Weller
Posted over 2 years ago
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?
Dave- I am flattered you should ask. No, I don't have a blog, and haven't really thought about it before. This TED talk has thrown my research into the public eye in (to me) a most unexpected way. I send my research subjects a round up of the findings of the studies they have been involved in, and publish in the scientific journals. Maybe I should think about updating my department web page with something similar. best wishes Richard
180203
Richard Weller
Posted over 2 years ago
Richard Weller: Could the sun be good for your heart?
Dear Bntam we have started looking at this. Beetroot contains large amounts of Nitrate (NO3) and this is reduced to NO. There is now good evidence that this will lower blood pressure, and also makes muscles use oxygen more efficiently. Beetroot juice was apparently drunk by many of hte athletes at the LOndon Olympics and had to be approved by the IOC as not being a drug! So can sunlight enhance the effect of a high nitrate (e.g. beetroot) diet? We hope to find out. Richard