Blue Light From Gadgets May Accelerate Ageing

blue light

According to a study on fruit flies, the basic cellular function could be impacted because of the blue light electronic gadget emit.

The results were published in Frontiers in Aging where senior author of the study, Dr. Jadwiga Giebultowicz said,

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

We are the first to show that the levels of specific metabolites—chemicals that are essential for cells to function correctly—are altered in fruit flies exposed to blue light.

He further advised,

Our study suggests that avoidance of excessive blue light exposure may be a good anti-ageing strategy

Stress Protective Genes

Previously, researchers at Oregon State University revealed that fruit flies exposed to light turn on stress-protective genes. However, those kept in continuous darkness had a longer life.

Geibultowicz explained that they compared the level of metabolites of flies kept in utter darkness and those with exposure to blue light for two weeks. The results showed a drastic difference in the level of metabolites, which were measured by researchers in the cells of the fruit flies’ heads. Furthermore, they found that there was an increase in the level of metabolite succinate, although, there was a decrease in glutamate levels.

Giebultowicz said,

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

Another troubling discovery was that molecules responsible for communication between neurons, such as glutamate, are at the lower level after blue light exposure.

Accelerates Ageing

The researchers recorded the changes, which suggests that cells are operating at a suboptimal level. However, blue light exposure may cause premature death. Additionally, their previous findings explain that blue light accelerates ageing.

Dr. Jadwiga Giebultowicz explained,

LEDs have become the main illumination in display screens such as phones, desktops and TVs, as well as ambient lighting, so humans in advanced societies are exposed to blue light through LED lighting during most of their waking hours. The signaling chemicals in the cells of flies and humans are the same, so the there is potential for negative effects of blue light on humans

Furthermore, in the future, they hope to study the effects directly on humans.

Giebultowicz said,

We used a fairly strong blue light on the flies—humans are exposed to less intense light, so cellular damage may be less dramatic. The results from this study suggest that future research involving human cells is needed to establish the extent to which human cells may show similar changes in metabolites involved in energy production in response to excessive exposure to blue light.


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