Several studies in the past had underlined that spending too much time on gadgets may impact your eyesight or mental health. However, a new study suggests that it may also affect your ageing process. The animal-model study, published in the journal 'Frontiers in Aging', indicated that excessive blue light from gadgets, including smartphones and laptops, may accelerate the ageing process.
"Excessive exposure to blue light from everyday devices, such as TVs, laptops and phones, may have detrimental effects on a wide range of cells in our body, from skin and fat cells to sensory neurons," said co-author of the study, Jadwiga Giebultowicz, from Oregon State University in the US.
"We are the first to show that the levels of specific metabolites -- chemicals that are essential for cells to function correctly -- are altered in fruit flies exposed to blue light," Giebultowicz added.
Researchers had previously shown that fruit flies exposed to light 'turn on' the stress-protective genes, and that those kept in constant darkness lived longer.
To understand why high-energy blue light is responsible for accelerating ageing in fruit flies, the team compared the levels of metabolites in flies exposed to blue light for two weeks to those kept in complete darkness.
Blue light exposure caused significant differences in the levels of metabolites measured by the researchers in the cells of fly heads. In particular, they found that the levels of the metabolite succinate were increased, but glutamate levels were lowered.
The changes recorded by the researchers suggest that the cells are operating at a suboptimal level, and this may cause their premature death, and further, explain their previous findings that blue light accelerates ageing.