Too Much Use of Your Laptop or Smartphone May Accelerate Aging, Study Finds

Digital devices may have revolutionized the world, but they could make humans age faster. A new study found that exposure to too much blue light from devices such as smartphones, laptops, and television can expedite aging. But, besides the risk of expediting aging, blue light can also lead to the onset of psychological problems and obesity. 

Research indicates that exposure to blue light can affect cellular function.

Oregon State University Integrative Biology Department’s professor Jadwiga Giebultowicz said that too much exposure to blue light from tech devices harms different body cells, including fat cells, skin, and sensory neurons. This is the first study of its kind to show that certain metabolites in fruit flies are altered by blue light. In addition, the researchers who conducted the study on fruit flies found that blue light affected them. The finding is significant, considering fruit flies and humans are similar at the cellular level. 

Giebultowicz explained, “The signaling chemicals in the cells of flies and humans are the same, so the there is potential for negative effects of blue light on humans. To understand why high-energy blue light is responsible for accelerating aging in fruit flies, we compared the levels of metabolites in flies exposed to blue light for two weeks to those kept in complete darkness.”

Blue light increases succinate levels but decreases glutamate levels. 

Exposure to blue light increases levels of succinate, with glutamate levels decreasing by looking at cells. Succinate is responsible for cell function and growth. According to the study authors, low glutamate levels can lead to reduced brain function, resulting in premature aging. With LED being everywhere nowadays, exposure to blue light has increased. 

Surprisingly, the exposure to blue light in humans is less intense relative to the light used in fruit flies, implying cellular damage is less dramatic compared to the flies. 

According to the study’s findings, future studies with human cells are necessary to determine whether human cells could experience comparable alterations in metabolites responsible for energy production following prolonged exposure to blue light.

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