The researchers have claimed that exposure to excessive screen light can exacerbate aging
The senior researchers from Oregon State University have released a bombshell report in the infamous magazine, “Frontiers in Aging”. The report shockingly claims that exposing ourselves to screen time blue light, which originates from LED devices, can potentially harm our cells and even make us look old.
What does the report say?
Dr. Jadwiga, the senior author of the publication and Head of the Department of Integrated Biology at Oregon State University said that the blue light coming from our AI devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, TVs, etc. can disrupt the natural functioning of the cells.
It disturbs the metabolic functioning of cells, hampers the flow of synaptic materials that ensure a smooth transition of information in neurons, and causes aging. The production of metabolites like Succinate was heavily increased, therefore leading to screen time an increased aging process. Whereas, the metabolites like glutamate, which are responsible for firing synapses between neurons, decreased after excessive exposure to blue light.
How was the study conducted?
The study for assessing the relationship between blue light and aging was conducted on fruit flies. A set of fruit flies with similar habitats were exposed to excessive blue light from LEDs for at least 2 weeks. Whereas, another set of healthy fruit flies were kept in total darkness for the next 2 weeks. The results were shocking.
The number of metabolites like Succinate became 3 fold in the first let of fruit flies. Whereas it remained the same in the 2nd set. Moreover, the house flies which were excessively exposed even died earlier than their counterparts. These results show the consequences of extreme blue light.
What are the results of human trials?
The senior researchers have expressed optimism that soon they will be allowed to experiment on human subjects to study the effects of blue light. Currently, these claims were made because humans and fruit flies have almost identical metabolites. Therefore, it was easier to study the effects on the flies.
But it is important to note that the amount of blue light that was produced during the whole experiment is very less compared to what humans are exposed to on a daily basis. Therefore, it is hard to tell whether the same results will be obtained during human trials. Currently, we get most of our blue lights from digital screens which are everywhere on our devices.
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A plethora of studies from the past has shown that exposing little kids to screens can get them addicted to them in the long run. Moreover, they will be at higher risk to develop many chronic lifestyle diseases like Obesity, hypertension, high blood pressure, depression, screen time and metabolic syndrome. The trends of such problems are on an upward trajectory since the beginning of the 21st century, all thanks to our intense modernization and urbanization.
What can we do to protect ourselves from long screen time?
Technology and devices are like double-edged swords. Though they are an important part of our lives and truly instrumental in our daily needs, they can also Kickstart the vicious cycle of dopamine addiction. Moreover, they make us lousy and drained, not to forget the blue light that can potentially harm us. Dopamine is a feel-good hormone that is released every time we do something good and thrilling.
To keep the blue light exposure in check, one can ensure that we don’t get involved in gadgets even in our free time. Rather, we can prefer to take walks, sleep, play sports, read books and cook. This will drastically reduce our screen time. Also, consciously choosing pen and paper work over gadgets will help. While working on the devices, we can ensure that we sit in the right positions and our body posture is good. Keeping an arm’s distance from our screens can help our eyes focus better and also reduce the scope of damage from blue light.
It will be worth seeing how future research turns out. Nothing can be said for sure. But it can be affirmatively stated that if someone wishes to stay and look young while avoiding severe chronic lifestyle diseases, they shall definitely try and avoid extra screen time. Rather replacing it with physical activities and eating a healthy and nutritious diet can help.