An article recently published on Phys.org, a leading online news service dedicated to science, research and technology, shared information about a study being funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) related to how blue light can impact the natural body clocks of humans, as well as animals and plants. The study is titled “Protein: Protein interaction networks in the circadian clock.”
The lead scientist in the study, Brian D. Zoltowski, explains how blue light exposure is on the increase due to our increased reliance on artificial lighting, as well as the many hours we spend on smartphones, tablets and computers, especially in the evening hours. Blue light exposure at the right time of day signals our bodies to wake up and carry out specific metabolic functions. However, when exposure comes at the wrong time of day it can throw biological signaling off. As Zolkowski explains, “the blue glow those devices emit signals our circadian clock that that it’s daytime. Red light, on the other hand, tells us to go to sleep.”
Lighting products such as the Walalight System recognize the need to transition between blue light exposure and other colors in the light spectrum at differing times of day to keep circadian rhythms in check, as well as to provide a host of other biological and behavioral benefits. The revolutionary blue light and circadian rhythm lighting technology in Walalights makes it easy to vary the amount of blue or red light that an individual is exposed to with the quick touch of a button.
As detailed in the article, absorption of blue light occurs in humans through the protein melanopsin, which sends signals to photoreceptor cells in the eyes and triggers biological functions that interact with the body’s circadian clock. This process also has an impact on metabolism, cancer development, mood disorders, drug addiction and other biological functions. The exact mechanism in the signaling process that occurs with exposure to blue light remains a mystery. The study run by Zoltowski will research the pathways occurring once light enters the eye and the wavelength is absorbed by the melanopsin proteins in the retina in an attempt to better understand this process.
More information about the study being conducted about the impact of blue light on circadian rhythm can be viewed below…