In a recent study, scientists concluded that exposure to blue light from devices can alter cell structure, harming the human body and accelerating the aging process.
“Excessive exposure to blue light from everyday devices such as televisions, laptops and phones can have detrimental effects on a wide range of cells in our bodies, from skin cells and fat to sensory neurons,” said study senior author Dr. Jadwiga Giebultowicz. ” Our study shows that avoiding excessive exposure to blue light may be a good anti-aging strategy.”
The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Aging.
Previous research by scientists at Oregon State University showed that fruit flies exposed to light “turned on” stress defense genes, while those kept in constant darkness lived longer, it says.
So to understand why high-energy blue light accelerates the aging of fruit flies, the scientists compared metabolite levels in flies exposed to blue light for two weeks and those kept in the dark.
They found that exposure to blue light caused significant differences in the levels of metabolites, chemicals necessary for normal cell function, measured in fly head cells.
The researchers found that levels of the metabolite succinate were elevated and levels of glutamate were lowered.
“Succinate is needed to produce the fuel needed for every cell to function and grow. High levels of succinate after exposure to blue light can be compared to gasoline that’s in the pump but doesn’t go into the car,” Giebultowicz explained.
The next step will be to study the effects of blue light directly on human cells to see if they show similar changes in the metabolites involved in energy production.
This is especially important, Giebultowicz said, because the scientists used “pretty intense blue light” on flies. Humans are exposed to less intense light, so cell damage may be less severe.