Blue light harms you badly !
According to new research published in Nature from Oregon State University, the harmful effects of everyday, lifelong exposure to the blue light emitted by phones, computers, and household lighting get worse as people age.
A team led by Jaga Giebultowicz, a scientist at the OSU College of Science who specializes in biological clocks, examined the survival rate of flies kept in darkness and then transferred to an environment of continual blue light from light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, at progressively older ages.
Blue light damage mitochondria
The study examined the impact of blue light on the mitochondria of the flies’ cells at the ages of two, 20, 40, and 60 days during the darkness to light transitions.
Mitochondria produce Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which serves as a major source of our energy.
In earlier studies, Giebultowicz demonstrated that continuous blue light exposure reduced the lifespan of flies, regardless of whether the light shone directly into their eyes.
The surprising finding of this current study is that persistent exposure to blue light might affect energy-producing pathways even in cells that are not specialized in light sensing.
We found that, whereas some mitochondrial reactions were significantly slowed down by blue light, other responses were slowed down by aging independently of blue light. You might see it as aging flies suffering from blue light exposure suffering further harm.
LED: the major blue light source
Natural light is essential for a person’s circadian rhythm, which is a 24-hour cycle of physiological activities that affect one’s eating and sleeping patterns and include hormone synthesis, brain wave activity, and cell regeneration.
But according to Giebultowicz, there is research that suggests that greater exposure to artificial light may be a risk factor for sleep and circadian problems. Humans are also exposed to growing levels of blue light due to the widespread use of LED lights and device screens, which emit a large proportion of blue light.
Even in the majority of wealthy nations, LED lighting technology has not been utilized long enough to know its consequences across the human lifespan. There are growing worries that prolonged exposure to artificial light, particularly LED light that is blue-enriched, may be harmful to human health. While the complete effects of blue light exposure over the course of a human lifetime are unknown, the accelerated aging shown in short-lived model organisms should warn us of the possibility of cellular harm.
Blue light damage brain cells
In contrast to other visible wavelengths, daily lifetime exposure to blue light has negative effects on the brain, motor skills, and lifespan of the model organism, according to Giebultowicz’s earlier research. The detrimental effects of blue light on flies are now being reported to be considerably age dependent; the same time of exposure to the same intensity of light shortens lifespan and significantly speeds up neurodegeneration in older flies compared to younger ones.
In prior studies, it was shown that flies housed in daily cycles of 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness lived shorter lifetimes than flies kept in complete darkness or in light with the blue wavelengths filtered out.
The flies that were exposed to blue light had damage to their retinal cells and brain neurons in addition to having decreased locomotion—their usual propensity to climb the walls of their enclosures was reduced.
Even the eyeless mutant flies in the experiment showed signs of impairment, demonstrating that flies weren’t need to be able to see the light in order to be affected by it.
What can we do to decrease blue light exposure?
The researchers believe there are a few things people can do to improve themselves in the meantime that don’t necessitate sitting for hours in the dark. Amber lenses on your spectacles will block blue light and shield your retinas. Additionally, blue emissions can be blocked on phones, laptops, and other gadgets.