(WTVO) — A new study has added accelerated aging to the downsides of blue light exposure from media screens, in addition to obesity and psychological problems.
According to Dr. Jadwiga Gibultowicz, a professor at the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University, “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.”
In the study, published in Frontiers in Aging, Gibultowicz’s research team experimented with fruit flies, which have similarities to humans at a cellular level.
“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,” he said.
The study found that the fruit flies’ cells ceased to function at an optimal level after being exposed to blue light, with levels of metabolite and succinate increasing, while glutamate levels fell.
“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,” Giebultowicz says. “Another troubling discovery was that molecules responsible for communication between neurons, such as glutamate, are at the lower level after blue light exposure.”
“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,” he continued.