The 1958 Chuck Berry version of "House of Blue Lights" suggested you "Pull up your jeans and we will truck on down/A knocked out joint at the edge of town ... Fall in there, lose your lead/At the house, the house of blue lights."
Great song, but if it had only said, "Fall in there, you'll lose your head at the house, the house of blue lights," it would have been prophetic!
We've known for a while that blue lights can cause sleep disturbances and eye problems, but now you can add cognitive issues to the list of potential hazards. That's the conclusion of a new study in Frontiers of Aging. Researchers from the Department of Integrative Biology at Oregon State University have found that when fruit flies are exposed to blue light from everyday devices, such as TVs, laptops and phones, that it can damage the brain's sensory neurons, as well as skin and fat cells. In particular, the study showed that excessive exposure to blue light lowers levels of a brain molecule called glutamate that lets neurons communicate. And remember, the signaling chemicals in the cells of fruit flies and humans are the same!
The bottom line: The researchers suggest that "avoidance of excessive blue light exposure may be a good anti-aging strategy." How do you do that? You can turn on the wavelength shift on your phones, tablets and computers or install blue-light blocking software; buy blue-light-blocking computer glasses; buy low blue-light bulbs; only use red-light nightlights and sleep with an eye mask.
Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email [email protected].
King Features Syndicate