Blue light ex­po­sure may help lower blood pressure

Business Standard - - ECONOMY - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

Ex­po­sure to blue light de­creases blood pressure, re­duc­ing the risk of de­vel­op­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, a study has found.

For the study, pub­lished in the Euro­pean Jour­nal of Pre­ven­ta­tive Car­di­ol­ogy, par­tic­i­pants were ex­posed to 30 min­utes of whole-body blue light at ap­prox­i­mately 450 nanome­tres, a dose com­pa­ra­ble to daily sun­light — fol­lowed by ex­po­sure to a con­trol light on a dif­fer­ent day.

To assess the im­pact, par­tic­i­pants' blood pressure, stiff­ness of ar­ter­ies, blood ves­sel di­la­tion and blood plasma lev­els of ni­tric ox­ide stores were mea­sured be­fore, dur­ing, and up to two hours af­ter ir­ra­di­a­tion with both lights.

Vis­i­ble blue light, as op­posed to ul­tra­vi­o­let (UV) light, is not car­cino­genic.

Re­searchers from Univer­sity of Sur­rey in the UK and Hein­rich Heine Univer­sity Dus­sel­dorf in Ger­many dis­cov­ered that ex­po­sure to whole-body blue light sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced the sys­tolic blood pressure of par­tic­i­pants by al­most 8 mmHg, com­pared to the con­trol light which had no im­pact.

The re­duc­tion of blood pressure from blue light is sim­i­lar to what is seen in clin­i­cal tri­als with blood pressure low­er­ing drugs.

Be­sides blood pressure low­er­ing ef­fects, it was also un­cov­ered that ex­po­sure to blue light im­proved other car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk mark­ers in­clud­ing re­duc­tion of ar­te­rial stiff­ness and in­creas­ing blood ves­sel re­lax­ation.

This fur­ther sup­ports that light could be used to pre­vent car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease.

Re­searchers also found that ex­po­sure to blue light in­creased lev­els of ni­tric ox­ide which is an im­por­tant sig­nalling molec­u­lar that pro­tects the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem.

It is be­lieved that blue light re­leases from the skin in­creas­ing blood flow and de­creas­ing blood pressure.

"Ex­po­sure to blue light pro­vides an in­no­va­tive method to pre­cisely con­trol blood pressure with­out drugs,” said Chris­tian Heiss, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Sur­rey.

"Wear­able blue light sources could make con­tin­ued ex­po­sure to light pos­si­ble and prac­ti­cal. This would be par­tic­u­larly help­ful to those whose blood pressure is not eas­ily con­trolled by med­i­ca­tion, such as older peo­ple," said Heiss.

Blue light helps re­lax blood ves­sels, in­crease blood flow to re­duce blood pressure

into the blood stream where it re­laxes the blood ves­sels,

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