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Why are Scots so sick: Dr. Richard Weller at TEDxGlasgow

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Published on Apr 3, 2012

Lack of sunlight seems to be linked to poor health, but is Vitamin D the only explanation for this? Dr. Richard Weller presents radical new research that demonstrates another and perhaps more important effect of sunshine on the human body that could change the way we think about going out in the sun.

More about Richard...

Dr. Richard Weller is an academic dermatologist in Edinburgh, with a professionally unfashionable love of the sun.

While dermatologists have warned of the risks of pale skinned populations developing skin cancer if exposed to too much ultra-violet radiation, there is a positive side to it. Vitamin D is generated in sun exposed skin and is essential to life, but the data confirming that taking Vitamin D supplements improves health is shaky.

We have identified another mechanism by which sunlight benefits you. Nitric oxide is a small molecule, essential to cardiovascular health, which we have found to be stored in the skin, and released to the circulation by sunlight. This lowers blood pressure and makes the blood flow more smoothly. Could this new mechanism account for some of Britain's north-south health divide?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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