Exposure To Too Much Blue Light May Cause You To Age Faster, Study Suggests

Most people these days are exposed to blue light from multiple devices without thinking too much about it. A new study that appeared in the journal Frontiers in Aging suggests that accelerated aging is one of the issues that could result from this.

Read Also: The Main Dangers of Being Exposed to Artificial Blue Light That You Should Be Aware Of

Using phone in the Dark

Using a phone in the Dark

Researchers also link blue light exposure to obesity and mental health issues.

“Excessive exposure to blue light from everyday devices, such as TVs, laptops, and phones, may have detrimental effects on a wide range of cells in our body, from skin and fat cells to sensory neurons,” said senior study author Dr. Jadwiga Giebultowicz, a professor at Oregon State University’s Department of Integrative Biology.

In modern societies, blue light exposure is quite widespread. In fact, an average person is exposed to blue light-emitting devices, including phones, TVs, and laptops, for most of their waking hours.

The study results suggest that avoiding exposure to too much blue light may be an excellent anti-aging strategy, Giebultowicz stated.

Altered metabolites

Previously, Oregon State University researchers had shown that light exposure in fruit flies activated genes that protect against stress. Flies always kept in darkness were found to have a longer lifespan.

At the cellular level, fruit flies share some similarities with humans.

The research team wanted to find out in the current study the reason high-energy blue light caused fruit flies to age faster. It, therefore, compared metabolite levels in flies subjected to blue light exposure for two weeks and those kept in total darkness.

Researchers observed significant disparities in the levels of metabolites in the flies’ brain cells. More notably, they found that succinate levels rose while glutamate levels dropped.

Read Also: Prolonged Exposure to Blue Light Emitted from Smartphones and Computers Could Speed up Aging

“Succinate is essential for producing the fuel for the function and growth of each cell. High levels of succinate after exposure to blue light can be compared to gas being in the pump but not getting into the car,” explained Giebultowicz. “Another troubling discovery was that molecules responsible for communication between neurons, such as glutamate, are at the lower levels after blue light exposure.”

Lower glutamate levels could cause the brain to work sub-optimally.

Giebultowicz stated that this team is the first to show that blue light exposure alters levels of metabolites in fruit flies.

Rapid aging trigger

The researchers noted that the changes observed hint at blue light causing cells to function at a suboptimal level. This, they said, may account for their earlier findings that exposure speeds up aging.

“The signaling chemicals in the cells of flies and humans are the same,” said Giebultowicz, “so there is potential for negative effects of blue light on humans.”

Researchers used a “fairly strong blue light” in this work. Humans are typically exposed to a less-intense form, so the resulting cellular damage may not be as awful.

Therefore, the team called for more research to examine the effects of blue light on human cells. Such work will help to have a clearer picture of the extent of damage or changes that may occur in humans.

Read Also: Digital Dementia: Early Onset of Alzheimer’s Rising Due to Increasing Exposure to Radiation from Cell Phones and WI-FI

References

Chronic blue light leads to accelerated aging in Drosophila by impairing energy metabolism and neurotransmitter levels

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