New research has shown that blue light, such as that produced by LED lamps, speeds up the aging process and shortens shelf life – at least on the fruit fly.
Harmful computer and cell phone?
Researchers have investigated how so-called blue light affects fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster). This type of light is produced especially by LED lamps, but also by smartphone, tablet and computer screens and televisions where LED technology is installed.
The study, published in the journal Aging and Mechanisms of Disease, found that prolonged exposure to blue LEDs was detrimental to the organism of the fruit flies studied. Harmful effects on the retina of the eyes and brain neurons (nerve cells) were observed. In addition, the flies, which lived under blue light, accelerated the aging process, which manifested itself, for example, in the limited performance of movements. The flies had difficulty climbing walls.
More importantly, flies that were exposed to blue light had lived shorter than flies that spent their time in complete darkness or were kept under light where blue wavelengths were blocked.
Fruit flies would be used as an experimental model because their cellular and developmental mechanisms would resemble those of other animals and humans, as stated on the Oregon State University website.
Blue light also harms without eyes
Even on fruit flies that did not develop eyes, blue light had a detrimental effect. These mutants also showed brain damage and movement restrictions.
"The fact that light accelerates the aging of flies was very surprising to us," says Professor Jadwiga Giebultowicz, one of the study's authors. "We measured the expression of some genes in older flies and found that protective genes were expressed as stress responses when the flies were kept in the light." We assume that light regulates these genes. Then we begin to ask what is harmful to them and examine the light spectrum. It was very clear that light without blue shortened the service life a little, but only blue light greatly reduced the service life. "
The introduction to the study states that recent evidence suggests that increased exposure to artificial light may be a risk factor for sleep and the internal clock.
"And with the widespread use of LED lighting and device displays, people are exposed to more and more light in the blue spectrum as conventional LEDs emit a high proportion of blue light. But even in most developed countries , this technology, LED lighting, has not been used long enough to know its impact on the entire life span of humans, "says Giebultowicz.
It's also interesting that flies avoid blue light if they had the option, as Giebultowicz says on the Oregon State University website. The researcher announces: "We will test whether the same signal that causes them to escape the blue light is involved in the life span."