Blue light from your smartphone screen, computer screen and TV is a direct threat to your health and well-being. Smartphones and computers are considered essential to modern life, but they also threaten visual acuity, social skills, health and vitality. Actually, a recent study Dr. Jadwige Giebultowicz of Oregon State University's Department of Integrative Biology describes in detail how blue light emitted from screens accelerates the aging process.

Excessive exposure to blue light can cause rapid aging, obesity and more

It wasn't that long ago when people primarily communicated with each other in person or over the phone. The transition from the pre-internet days of the 80s and early 90s to modern life has been marked by technological progress, social destruction, moral decline and obesity. Such is our progress paradox, as eloquently described by Greg Easterbrook. However, most people do not realize that technology itself, and not the advancements of food scientists, is the cause of the worldwide obesity epidemic. Excessive exposure to blue light from smartphones and other screens causes rapid aging, obesity and even mental health problems. It is true that smartphones, the Internet, video games and TV are addictive. Brain wave scans reveal similar patterns between TV watchers and sleepers. Blue light is salt to the wound created by our addiction to technology. The study above details how excessive exposure to blue light compromises cells throughout the body, from those all-important information-processing sensory neurons to fat cells, skin cells, and more. Although the study focused on how blue light affects fruit flies, the results are likely transferable to humans and other animals. Specifically, the study is the first to reveal how certain levels of metabolites, meaning chemicals needed for cellular functionality, mutate after exposure to blue light emitted by screens.

The results of the study indicate a worrying link between blue light and accelerated aging

While it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate screens and blue light from your life, it is in your best interest to minimize such exposure as much as possible. The researchers mentioned above found screens made of chemicals that negatively affect the light the flies use for signaling. The results of the study are troubling because such signaling chemicals within flies are similar to those in humans. Specifically, high-energy blue light accelerates fruit fly aging, especially when contrasted with a control group of flies left in the dark for a full two weeks. The results of the study show that fruit fly cells failed to function optimally after exposure to blue light from the screen. It is possible that such cell failures will cause premature death. Specifically, glutamate decreased while succinate—a metabolite essential for cellular functionality—increased. Excessive levels of succinate after exposure to blue light are problematic because they disable neuronal communication.


Reduce exposure to blue light to slow the aging process

The blue light emanating from the screen is ubiquitous. Even if you step outside your home, you're likely to be exposed to blue light from LED screens inside monitors, work computers, other people's phones, ambient lighting, and more. However, you do have the necessary agency to reduce your exposure to blue light and ultimately slow down the aging process. Resist the temptation of smartphones, computer screens and TV screens after work. Consider wearing blue light-blocking glasses when spending time around devices that emit blue light. Spend more time outside and you'll slow down the aging process as you get back in balance with nature.

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