- Researchers from Oregon State University revealed that the damaging effects of the blue light exposure from LEDs harm more as one grows older.
- The experiment was conducted on Drosophila melanogaster or the common fruit fly.
All of us know that exposure to the bright screens of smartphones, TVs, and laptops will strain the eyes and harm users’ health in the long run. Recently, Oregon State University researchers revealed that the damaging effects of the blue light emanating from these bright displays worsen with a person’s age.
The team experimented on Drosophila melanogaster or the common fruit fly. The fly was chosen for the experiment as it serves as an important model organism because of the cellular and developmental mechanisms it shares with humans and other animals.
Nature Partner Journals Aging study published that researchers assessed the survival rate of flies when they were kept in darkness and then exposed to constant blue light from LEDs at progressively older ages.
The flies were transferred from dark to blue light at the ages of two, 20, 40, and 60 days. Then, the cells of mitochondria of the flies were examined for blue light exposure effects. Mitochondria are called a cell’s power plant that generates chemical energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Observations From The Experiment
Scientists have observed that natural light is very important for an individual’s circadian rhythm. The 24-hour cycle of psychological processes includes hormone production, brain wave activity, and cell regeneration. These factors are crucial for sleeping and eating patterns.
Giebultowicz said the study shows that artificial light can be a risk factor for sleep and circadian disorders. He also mentioned that humans are exposed to an increasing level of light in the blue spectrum as a high fraction of blue light exposure from LEDs with the rising use of LED lighting.
He said there are increasing concerns that extended exposure to artificial light, specifically blue-enriched LED light, may be detrimental to human health. Giebultowicz explained that while the full effects of blue light exposure across the lifespan are not yet known in humans, accelerated aging observed in a short-lived model organism should make us attentive to the potential of cellular damage by this stressor.
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