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Daily exposure to blue light may accelerate aging, even if it doesn't reach your eyes

blue light aging

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#1 Engadin

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Posted 17 October 2019 - 05:23 PM





S O U R C E :    MedicalXpress


F U L L   T E X T   P R I M A L   S O U R C E :   nature

T I T L E :    Daily blue-light exposure shortens lifespan and causes brain neurodegeneration in Drosophila






Prolonged exposure to blue light, such as that which emanates from your phone, computer and household fixtures, could be affecting your longevity, even if it's not shining in your eyes.


New research at Oregon State University suggests that the blue wavelengths produced by light-emitting diodes damage cells in the brain as well as retinas.


The study, published today in Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, involved a widely used organism, Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, an important model organism because of the cellular and developmental mechanisms it shares with other animals and humans.


Jaga Giebultowicz, a researcher in the OSU College of Science who studies biological clocks, led a research collaboration that examined how flies responded to daily 12-hour exposures to blue LED light—similar to the prevalent blue wavelength in devices like phones and tablets—and found that the light accelerated aging.


Flies subjected to daily cycles of 12 hours in light and 12 hours in darkness had shorter lives compared to flies kept in total darkness or those kept in light with the blue wavelengths filtered out. The flies exposed to blue light showed damage to their retinal cells and brain neurons and had impaired locomotion—the flies' ability to climb the walls of their enclosures, a common behavior, was diminished.


Some of the flies in the experiment were mutants that do not develop eyes, and even those eyeless flies displayed brain damage and locomotion impairments, suggesting flies didn't have to see the light to be harmed by it.


"The fact that the light was accelerating aging in the flies was very surprising to us at first," said Giebultowicz, a professor of integrative biology. "We'd measured expression of some genes in old flies, and found that stress-response, protective genes were expressed if flies were kept in light. We hypothesized that light was regulating those genes. Then we started asking, what is it in the light that is harmful to them, and we looked at the spectrum of light. It was very clear cut that although light without blue slightly shortened their lifespan, just blue light alone shortened their lifespan very dramatically."


Natural light, Giebultowicz notes, is crucial for the body's circadian rhythm—the 24-hour cycle of physiological processes such as brain wave activity, hormone production and cell regeneration that are important factors in feeding and sleeping patterns.


"But there is evidence suggesting that increased exposure to artificial light is a risk factor for sleep and circadian disorders," she said. "And with the prevalent use of LED lighting and device displays, humans are subjected to increasing amounts of light in the blue spectrum since commonly used LEDs emit a high fraction of blue light. But this technology, LED lighting, even in most developed countries, has not been used long enough to know its effects across the human lifespan."










#2 Mind

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 11:29 AM

Of course "natural" light has blue light as well, so it would seem that blue light paired with the rest of the spectrum is the "natural" way our eyes have evolved to operate.

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#3 sedentary

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 08:33 PM

^ so that means blue light isnt really harmful or that it is harmful but we are already dealing it with since antiquity before technology invasion and we have been fine so i guess its not a big deal?

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#4 Turnbuckle

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Posted 24 October 2019 - 09:29 PM

Things you can do:

Wear amber colored sunglasses outside.

Buy warm LED light bulbs for home.

Buy silver rather than aluminum backed mirrors. Silver cuts out part of the blue spectrum. This makes you look better, as well.

Change the color temp of your TV to "warm."

Some monitors can be set to "low blue mode."

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#5 Rocket

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Posted 25 October 2019 - 12:07 AM

I avoid the sun. I hate direct sunlight and don't spend time outside on cloudless days. Other people my age who spend time in the sun look much older. Would you go tanning under the light of a hydrogen bomb? That's essentially what you do by going out in the sun. If you want a healthy tan, use melanotan peptides.
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