How Your Phone Screen Might Be Causing You to Age Faster

How Your Phone Screen Might Be Causing You to Age Faster

We hate to say this… but the way you’re reading this article might be making you older.

That’s the latest takeaway from researchers at Oregon State University, who found that blue light from digital LED screens accelerated the aging process in fruit flies. In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers in Aging, the study suggested that the light altered levels of metabolites–a chemical used to keep cells working correctly–in the insects.

This means blue light could be aging humans more quickly too. In a statement obtained by The Daily Beast, Jadwiga Giebultowicz (integrative biologist at OSU) stated that

“LEDs are now the primary illumination for display screens like phones, computers, and televisions. She also said, “The signaling chemicals in the cells of flies and humans are almost identical, which means there is potential for blue light to cause premature aging.”

She added, “The signaling chemicals in the cells of flies and humans are the same, so there is potential for negative effects of blue light on humans.”

In fruit flies, the blue light appears to specifically spike a chemical called metabolite succinate, which helps produce energy (known as ATP) for cells to grow and function normally. The blue light also reduced levels of the molecule glutamate which allows neurons to communicate effectively with each other.

“ATP levels are known to decrease in normal aging and we can see it in these young flies that were exposed to blue lights,” Jun Yang (an integrative biologist from OSU) told The Daily Beast. Blue light also causes brain neurodegeneration in old-age flies. Together, these data suggest that blue light accelerates aging processes.”

However, the findings aren’t conclusive and “future research needs to address” if and how blue light is impacting the cells, Yang said. Yang said that blue light was used to study the effects of the light on fruit flies.

“Humans are exposed to less intense light, so cellular damage may be less dramatic,” Yang explained. “Research on cultured human cells will be required to establish whether blue light exposure causes similar changes in metabolites.”

For now, the team recommends that humans cut down on their blue light exposure as much as possible in order to stay healthy–or at least looking young. Yang says that this can be achieved by shortening screen time, dimming ambient lights, using screen protectors, and using the night setting on your screen devices.

” Without research into human cells, it is hard to make recommendations about a safe amount of screen time. “However, our data suggest that reducing blue light emitted from screens is more important than limiting screen time.”

The post How Your Phone Screen Might Be Causing You to Age Faster appeared first on The Daily Beast.