First it was salt, now it is sunlight…

For some decades we were told to cut salt from our menu, only to find out that that was actually not a good idea. I never took that seriously, because I have always felt much better when I get a healthy dose of salt. And I knew several people that were chronically depressed and they avoided salt like vampires avoid garlic. Do some exercise, and salt is a great thing to eat. Of course in moderation, but for me that moderation number would freak out your average anti-salt zealot.

The other thing I try to get as much as I can is sunlight. For some decades now they have been telling us sunlight is terrible because it causes cancer. I spent, or misspent, if you want to label it that – my youth in many countries where sunlight was basically unavoidable. Heck, I have people that told me that they thought I might be black back in the day because of how tan I was. I love the ocean, and nothing beats the ocean in the tropics. It is one of the things I miss the most about living in Connecticut, and I will have to rectify that someday. Anyway, I never understood the sun phobia of the last few decades. Sure, some people have sensitive skin and complexions, and they should definitely avoid the sun Same applies to people with history of skin cancer in the family. It means you are genetically predisposed to it, and while you can still get it while avoiding the sun, it’s never a good idea to throw more gasoline on the bonfire. But the truth is that most of us are genetically protected due to natural selection. And just as I have observed that lack of salt results in many people developing depression, I believe lack of sunlight does the same. But you were looking for a court martial if you said these things amongst the intelligentsia.

Queue more recent studies, and now some are pointing out that lack of sunlight affects blood pressure:

Here’s why sunbathing feels so good: It may lower your blood pressure, British researchers reported Friday. Just 20 minutes of ultraviolet A (UVA) sunlight lowered blood pressure by a small but significant amount in 24 volunteers, they report in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Further checks suggest the sun does this by increasing levels of nitric oxide, a chemical linked to blood flow.

The effects are so strong they may help explain why people who live in the darker north, like the Scots, have higher rates of death from heart disease, Richard Weller of the University of Edinburgh and Martin Feelisch of the University of Southampton say.

And I would not be surprised we discover a connection between blood pressure and depression one of these days. Eat that salt and get yourself some nice war m sunlight. I bet it will do wonders for you. Now if we could only discover this stuff could cure mental disorders like being a progressive. Then we would be getting somewhere!

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