Health & Wellbeing

Study suggests that blue light reduces blood pressure

According to the study, exposure to blue light causes a significant reduction in blood pressure
According to the study, exposure to blue light causes a significant reduction in blood pressure
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According to the study, exposure to blue light causes a significant reduction in blood pressure
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According to the study, exposure to blue light causes a significant reduction in blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, then you likely already know that it's the leading cause of stroke, and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. So, besides things like medication, diet changes, weight loss and exercise, what can be done to reduce it? Well, it turns out that exposure to blue light may help.

In a randomized study recently conducted at Britain's University of Surrey, 14 healthy male volunteers received full-body exposure to visible blue light for 30 minutes on one day, followed by 30 minutes of exposure to a control light on a subsequent day. The blue light had a wavelength of about 450 nanometers, which is similar to that of the visible blue light contained within sunlight.

Before, during and for two hours after both of the light-exposure sessions, scientists assessed each test subject's blood pressure, artery stiffness, blood vessel dilation and blood plasma levels of nitric oxide. It was found that while exposure to the control light had no effect, the blue light sessions resulted in a systolic blood pressure reduction of almost 8 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). According to the university, that sort of reduction is similar to what is seen in trials of blood pressure-lowering medications.

The blue light additionally appeared to reduce artery stiffness and to increase levels of nitric oxide, which is a signalling molecule associated with cardiovascular health. It is believed that the blue light exposure triggered a release of nitric oxide from the skin, allowing it to enter the bloodstream. There, it proceeded to relax the blood vessels and increase blood flow, resulting in a decrease in blood pressure.

"Exposure to blue light provides an innovative method to precisely control blood pressure without drugs," says U Surrey's Prof. Christian Heiss. "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."

A paper on the research was recently published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology.

Previous studies have suggested that blue light also fights infections and helps people recover from the stress of interpersonal conflicts. On the downside, though, they have likewise indicated that it may cause age-related macular degeneration, along with various health problems resulting from a disruption of our circadian rhythms.

Source: University of Surrey

6 comments
christopher
Fun fact: Pigeons can see magnetism (literally with their eyes), but only while they're exposed to blue light.
JOC
Good, but, as they tell you looking at blue light, you never get any sleep; does this mean sleep gives you heart disease? Do pigeons have to forfeit sleep to see where they left their magnets? I get confused ... J.
Chief of Nerds
When are journalists going to catch up to IUPAP usage and use Torr rather than mmHg? I can understand the stodginess of the medical profession but people who are implicitly new?
Douglas Bennett Rogers
It ought to be easy to match this color on a computer screen or with lighting on paint.
EZ
I have used blue light to fight a MRSA infection on my hand that I got from open air exposure in a local hospital for a minor head injury. I cut my head falling off a ladder in a storm. About a month later I started getting an ugly infection on one hand that only got worse. The strongest antibiotics failed to have any impact--even a 2nd super strong set of the same 2 anti's. The infection started to wrap around my hand and I started to get concerned. I started searching for a treatment on the net and discovered light therapy. I found an early led light in a drawer and held it on my hand that looked like it was covered with frog eggs, for 45 minutes. By the next morning the entire infection had turned brown and dead. Unfortunately, it didn't kill it all and I've been fighting it all over my body for over 10 years. Dermatologists were a sick joke. I'm now exploring herbal treatments with some promising results. Light therapy is an interesting type of treatment. It has since become a standard form of hospital disinfection technology by one company. People used to think I was nuts when I told them my story. I also read, recently, that red light will soon replace heart defibrillators.
esecallum
This is addressed to EZ who has MRSA. Try ozone bagging of limb. wrap it in a bag plastic bag.Go outside and pump ozone into from a 20 dollar ozone generator from ebay.Transdermal ozone will kill MRSA. You do it outside to avoid breathing ozone which is harmful to the lungs.You can also try collidal silver at the silver edge website or microcurrents which you google.A man saved his limb from amputation by ozone bagging.