Exposure To Artificial Light Can Negatively Impact Your Metabolism

Metabolism undergoes a transformation when exposed to bright light, according to a new study conducted by Northwestern University researchers.

Scientists discovered that exposure to vivid lighting can increase insulin resistance in the morning and at night. In the evening, bright light resulted in higher peak blood sugar levels, making it an especially serious cause of concern for people with diabetes.

"These results provide further evidence that bright light exposure may influence metabolism," said Kathryn Reid, senior author of the study. "It's cool that bright light has this effect, but we don't understand why yet. In theory, you could use light to manipulate metabolic function."

Effects of bright light

Previous research had discovered that people who get most of their bright light exposure in the morning versus the evening tended to weigh less and had decreased food intake. The Northwestern researchers claim that blue-enriched light exposure changed participants’ metabolic functioning both in the morning and at night, compared to participants exposed only to dim lighting conditions.

The results of the study showcase the potential health dangers of late-night internet surfing or TV viewing - especially when preceded by an evening meal.

"Our findings show that insulin was unable to acutely bring glucose levels back to a baseline level following a meal with bright light exposure in the evening," said Ivy Cheung, first author of the study. "The results of this study emphasize that our lighting environment impacts our health outcomes."

Source: Northwestern University

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