The level and type of light you are exposed to could affect your weight, your health and even your life. Action Alert!
A new study has found that bright light alters our metabolism. Bright light exposure increased insulin resistance compared to dim light exposure in the morning and evening. Insulin resistance leads to excess blood glucose, more body fat, and a higher risk for diabetes. This remarkable finding deserves more research and should be trumpeted far and wide, given the prevalence of diabetes in the US. Doing so, however, would upset Pharma’s lucrative diabetes drug market, so don’t expect the FDA or federal health authorities to pursue this very far.
Interestingly, bright light in the evening caused higher peak blood sugar levels.
For bright light exposure, the researchers used blue light. Sunlight contains blue light, but it is especially bad in man-made sources of blue light such as fluorescent and LED lighting, flat-screen TVs, as well as the display screens of computers, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic gadgets. This study suggests that increased screen time is playing a real biological role in making us fat and obese; limiting screen time and exposure to bright light, especially in the evening, could be an important preventive measure to protect against the development of diabetes.
These findings are supported by other research. Exposure to light, especially blue light, suppresses the secretion of melatonin, which influences circadian rhythms. A Harvard study found that shifting the timing of the circadian rhythm caused blood sugar levels to increase, putting subjects into a prediabetic state.
American adults spend an average of 11 hours a day interacting with media on screens; children spend six hours or more a day on screens. This research suggests we may want to reconsider our relationship with the devices that have become a staple of modern life.
Special glasses to remove blue light will help protect you if you must turn on lights after going to bed. A special nightlight with a red wavelength can make all the difference if you need a nightlight. It’s also important to get regular exposure to daylight for at least 20 minutes daily — the light from the sun enters your eyes and triggers your brain to secrete and then release specific chemicals and hormones like melatonin that are vital to healthy sleep.
Findings like this, along with other suggestions from integrative doctors such as lifestyle and diet alterations to address diabetes, offer hope to diabetic patients and those at risk for diabetes that their conditions can be prevented or reversed without years of expensive and dangerous drugs. But you won’t hear the FDA promoting these strategies because they don’t make money for drug companies. And there’s a lot of money to be made from diabetic patients: the global market for diabetes drugs is expected to reach $58.4 billion in a few years, and $322 billion is spent annually caring for people with diabetes and prediabetes. That’s a strong incentive to keep the status quo intact.
Action Alert! Tell the FDA, with a copy to Congress, to alert the public about the dangers of blue light and to study the connection with diabetes and other illnesses further. Please send your message immediately.