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The Hidden Dangers of LED Lighting

There are major downsides to most LED lights that are not well known. If you choose to ignore these facts, it could lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the deterioration of your macula which controls acute vision and is the leading cause of blindness.
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Additional health problems may occur in your cell’s vital mitochondria. Mitochondria, known as the powerhouse of the cell, make most of the cell’s supply of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that cells use as a source of energy. Mitochondria primarily perform cellular respiration. This means it takes in nutrients from the cell, breaks it down, and turns it into essential energy.
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Understanding the Health Dangers of LEDs

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Understanding how LEDs can harm your health begins with the recognition that light emitted from an LED bulb is of a different quality than a natural light source.
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LEDs are fluorescent lamps, consisting of a blue LED (the pump) and a fluorescent sheet that covers the blue LED, transforming part of the blue light into longer wavelengths, thereby creating a yellowish light. The yellowish light from the fluorescent layer combines together with the residual blue light to form a whitish light, a large portion of which is an aggressive blue light.
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Blue light in the evening reduces melatonin production in your pineal gland, however you also have cells in your retina that are responsible for producing melatonin in order to regenerate the retina during the night.
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Blue wavelengths create ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). ROS describes a number of reactive molecules and free radicals that have long been known to be a component of the killing response of immune cells to microbial invasion. When generated in excess, ROS can cause damage leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, lower energy production, and inflammation that can erode health over time if left unaddressed.
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It’s important to note that this ROS issue is not about the blue light emitted from natural sunlight because the sun provides a balanced, full-spectrum of colors. It’s about the artificial blue light, the singular high energy visual (HEV) blue light, which comes from most energy-efficient light sources. This is what causes a problem, not the blue light waves which come together with longer wavelengths in a natural balance that includes the beneficial near-infrared light (NIR) like the sun.
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The repair and regenerative part of the spectrum is not found in the blue wavelengths.

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If you use LED lights, especially after sunset, you reduce the regenerative and restoring capacities of your eyes that can lead to AMD. This condition is naturally countered with near infrared light that reduces retinal inflammation and AMD risk.
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LED light exposure that’s not balanced like natural sunlight which includes NIR wavelengths is always damaging to your biology!

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You cannot feel near-infrared light as heat, and you cannot see it, but it has a major beneficial impact in terms of health. Near-infrared is what’s missing in (non-thermal) artificial light sources like LEDs. This is why LEDs are so harmful for your eyes and overall health.
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 Notably, SAD (seasonal affective disorder) light therapy devices that do not emit near infrared light can contribute to age-related retinal inflammation and the risk of macular degeneration..

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NIR Plays a Critical Role in Your Body’s ATP Production  

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Light is the most overlooked essential for biological energy production at the mitochondrial ATP level. Chromophores are molecules that absorb light. Unique chromophores (cytochrome c oxidase) that absorb NIR light are found in your mitochondria and are the last step involved in the production of ATP.
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Absorbed light in a red – NIR wavelength range between 670 and 850 nm is able to boost ATP energy production, especially in cells when energy production is depleted. Amazingly, you produce your body weight in ATP every day. You can survive for several minutes without oxygen, however if  ATP production suddenly stopped… you would be dead within 15 seconds!
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Many signs of aging are the result of hampered mitochondrial functioning, The fact is your body’s energy production involves not just food intake.

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Amazingly, only one-third of the energy your body consumes comes from the food you eat. The vast majority of the energy your body needs to maintain the systemic equilibrium comes from environmental infrared light exposure and is critical for optimum metabolism.
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LED Bottom Line

  • This light quality is not found in nature.
  • Increases stress from the HEV blue short wavelength.
  • Reduces regeneration & repair from lack of NIR long wavelengths.
  • Near-infrared light is essential for eye health and ATP production.

Are There Any Healthy LEDs?

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The way to get a healthier LED is to look for a balanced full-spectrum LED that includes near infrared light (NIR) and a high color rendering index (CRI). Sunlight is the gold standard and has a CRI of 100. What you’re looking for is a light that has an R9 (full red spectrum) CRI of about 97 and a broad band of near infrared light.
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In terms of energy, sunlight at Earth’s surface is around 52 to 55 percent infrared (above 700 nm), 42 to 43 percent visible (400 to 700 nm), and 3 to 5 percent ultraviolet (below 400 nm).

.Balanced, Natural Light Exposure is Absolutely Vital to Your Health

SUNSHINE OUTDOORS / SOLSHINE INDOORS

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Heart Health & Light

The appearance of sunlight and the advent of oxygen on Earth were undoubtedly the most dramatic environmental changes during evolution. As a result, almost all organisms on this planet are equipped with light and oxygen sensing pathways. Light and oxygen sensing pathways are linked on a cellular level in mammals.
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Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have found that intense light amplifies a specific gene that bolsters blood vessels and offers protection against heart attacks.
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“We already knew that intense light can protect against heart attacks, but now we have found the mechanism behind it,” said the study’s senior author Tobias Eckle, MD, PhD, professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
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The scientists discovered that housing mice under intense light conditions for one week `robustly enhances cardio protection’, which resulted in a dramatic reduction of cardiac tissue damage after a heart attack. They also found that humans could potentially benefit from a similar light exposure strategy.
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In an effort to find out why, they developed a strategy to protect the heart using intense light to target and manipulate the function of the PER2 gene which is expressed in a circadian pattern in the part of the brain that controls circadian rhythms.
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By amplifying this gene through light, they found that it protected cardiovascular tissues against low oxygen conditions like myocardial ischemia, caused by reduced oxygen flow to the heart.
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They also discovered that the light increased cardiac adenosine, a chemical that plays a role in blood flow regulation.
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Mice that were blind, however, enjoyed no cardio protection indicating a need for visual light perception.
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Next, they investigated whether intense light had similar effects on healthy human volunteers. The subjects were exposed to 30 minutes of intense light measured in lumens. In this case, volunteers were exposed to 10,000 LUX, or lumens, on five consecutive days. Researchers also did serial blood draws.
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The light therapy increased PER2 levels as it did in mice. Plasma triglycerides, a surrogate for insulin sensitivity and carbohydrate metabolism, significantly decreased. Overall, the therapy improved metabolism.
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Eckle has long known that light plays a critical role in cardiovascular health and regulating biological processes. He pointed out that past studies have shown an increase in myocardial infarctions during darker winter months in all U.S. states, including sunnier places like Arizona, Hawaii and California. The duration of the light isn’t as important as the intensity, he said.
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“The most dramatic event in the history of earth was the arrival of sunlight,” Eckle said. “Sunlight caused the great oxygen event. With sunlight, trillions of algae could now make oxygen, transforming the entire planet.”
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Eckle said the study shows, on a molecular level, that intensive light therapy offers a promising strategy in treating or preventing low oxygen conditions like myocardial ischemia.
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He said if the therapy is given before high risk cardiac and non-cardiac surgery it could offer protection against injury to the heart muscle which can be fatal.
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“Giving patients light therapy for a week before surgery could increase cardio protection,” he said. “Drugs could also be developed that offer similar protections based on these findings. However, future studies in humans will be necessary to understand the impact of intense light therapy and its potential for cardio protection.”
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The study was published today in the journal Cell Reports.

 

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Worry about the amount of light at night more than the blue light

By MARK HALPER:
A top lighting research group has reported that the amount of light at night — light levels plus duration — can potentially disturb sleep much more than can blue spectrum in the light. The findings marked the second time in a year that the group has downplayed the detrimental sleep effects of blue compared to other factors, such as brightness.
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The study of 16 adults by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center (LRC) might call into question the growing commercial trend of toning down blue frequencies at night, which is often part of vendors’ so-called “circadian lighting” or “human-centric lighting” schemes.
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The study, published Mar. 1 in the Journal of Biological Rhythms, looked at the extent to which different light conditions suppress melatonin, a hormone associated with inducing sleep. Suppressing melatonin potentially disrupts sleep.
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In keeping with common wisdom, LRC had hypothesized that normal light with normal blue spectral power would suppress melatonin more than would light in which the LRC lowered the energy output of specific blue/cyan wavelengths between 475 and 495 nm — light known as “cyan gap.”
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But that did not turn out to be the case, not even when the LRC exposed subjects to light for less than an hour.
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“Contrary to our model predictions, our results showed that short-term exposures to ‘cyan-gap’ light sources suppressed melatonin similarly to conventional light sources,” the researchers noted.
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Translation: The low-blue light suppressed just as much melatonin as did normal light with normal blue spectral power.
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LRC had also hypothesized that light levels combined with duration — together known as the “amount” of light — would also contribute to melatonin suppression.
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On that point, they were correct.
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“As hypothesized, there were significant main effects of light level and exposure duration,” the study states. “But there was no significant main effect of spectrum. There were no significant interactions with spectrum.”
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Given blue’s growing villainous reputation in sleep, LEDs Magazine wanted to be sure that we were reading the scientific findings correctly, so we checked in with LRC director Mariana Figueiro, one of the four authors of the report.
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“Both amount and spectrum are important, but the impact of amount [of light] on melatonin suppression is greater than that of spectrum,” Figueiro told LEDs. “One cannot dissociate these two parameters. Blue light does suppress melatonin, but the key finding is that it is not just about blue light. If enough energy is emitted at other parts of the spectrum, we will see a response because the circadian system uses all types of photoreceptors to respond to light for melatonin suppression.”
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The study comes about a year after LRC reached a similar conclusion in a study of Apple iPad users, in which it observed that gadget brightness was a primary factor in suppressing melatonin, but that the gadget’s color settings were not. (In that case, the LRC used the term “brightness,” which is a term that describes human perception of light. It is different from “levels,” often measured in lux as in the LRC’s new study, although LEDs notes that it stands to reason that a higher lux level will be perceived as brighter.)
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Nonetheless, lighting vendors are increasingly marketing products that strip out blue frequencies at night. In a recent example, the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Airport hotel has installed such lights in its guest rooms.
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Circadian disruption has been linked not only to poor sleep, but also to depression, metabolic and cardiovascular disease, and cancer in night shift workers.
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MARK HALPER is a contributing editor for LEDs Magazine, and an energy, technology, and business journalist (markhalper@aol.com).

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Out with ‘human centric,’ in with ‘nutritional light’

Human-centric lighting is lighting devoted to enhancing vision, wellbeing, and performance individually or in some combination, according to Philips Lighting.
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Believing that the human-centric lighting movement is lacking momentum, a new advocacy group has emerged to help give things a kick, and has started by rebranding the concept as “nutritional light.”
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The non-profit Good Light Group, based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, aims “to promote the importance of nutritional light on the wellbeing of people,” the foundation said upon its formal launch earlier this month on the International Day of Light, May 16.
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“Light is as important as nutrition for the body and brain as vitamins, proteins, minerals. Billions of people are now in light that does not stimulate body and brain. Our objective is that they can enjoy nutritional light…”
Jan Denneman
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Good Light Group founder and industry veteran Jan Denneman has been a longtime advocate of healthy lighting, having helped put human-centric lighting on the 2017 10-year roadmap for LightingEurope, where he served as president.
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Denneman left LightingEurope last year, about a year after leaving a 10-year stint as president of the Global Lighting Association. He also retired in January last year from Signify, then called Philips Lighting, after more than 42 years at the company.
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“We have finally learned that light is a nutrient much like food, and like food, the wrong kind can make us ill and the right kind can help keep us well.”
— DR. JOHN OTT
HEALTH AND LIGHT
3,000,000+ copies sold
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SOL is delighted to initiate an enlightened nutrition paradigmPhoto-Nutrition.

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This Indoor Pollution Can Cause Brain Fog

Would you swim in a pool of polluted water? Of course not. Not intentionally anyway. But every day, every one of us unknowingly “swims” in indoor pollution, some of it of our own making.

It’s called EMF and it stands for Electromagnetic Frequency. EMF radiation is all around us and it’s like an ocean of indoor pollution. It is generated from computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc. What most of us don’t know is that it can actually cause brain fog, as well as other health issues (see list further below) because it restricts blood flow and oxygen supply to your brain.

I highly encourage you to watch this 2-minute video right now. It so clearly shows you how exposure to EMF radiation from your screened devices affects your blood and health!

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[Dr. Magda Havas, PhD (2:32) is not associated with Science of Light. This educational video is not an endorsement].

Artificial, non-native EMF (nnEMF) radiation currently surrounds us at levels never before documented until now. Our own ‘native’ electromagnetic signals are very weak compared to nnEMFs exposure, which can interfere with our body’s internal electromagnetic systems and may be causing or contributing to the following health issues:

  • Insomnia
  • Headache & Migraine
  • Muscle & Joint Pain
  • Depression, Anxiety & Irritability
  • Short Term Memory Problems
  • Nerve Pain & Eye Pain
  • Tingling & Numbness… and more

Shielding Mitigates nnEMF from the Outside

A common approach used to mitigate nnEMF radiation is shielding materials (paints, fabrics, films, etc.) that block or reduce radiation exposure from high level or direct / close proximity emissions. Unfortunately, shielding does not reduce the radiation from your WiFi, your neighbor’s WiFi, local cell towers and many other sources.

LED Therapy Mitigates nnEMF from the Inside

LED therapy, also known as photomodulation (the modulation of the cell by light), is a scientific method that allows the use of specific wavelengths of the light spectrum for therapeutic purposes to stimulate the metabolic activity of cells.

Fullest-Spectrum LED Therapy uses low intensity LEDs (light emitting diodes) to create a process similar to plant photosynthesis whereby plants convert sunlight energy into chemical energy.  

An important discovery

More than 30 years ago, photo-biology pioneer Dr. John Ott was the first to discover that red blood cells clump together (rouleaux) when exposed to nnEMF radiation from computers and other electronic devices. Dr. Ott concluded that the clumping was caused by iron in the red blood cells being magnetized from EMF pollution.

Sunlight quality full-spectrum light Counterbalances Non Native EMF

Dr. Ott observed that when the clumped red blood cells were exposed to full-spectrum light that included invisible wavelengths, the rouleaux condition returned to a normal flowing cell pattern and the oxygen supply was no longer inhibited.

The sun is the primary source of natural, ‘native’ EMFs. When indoors, the full-spectrum of light that includes violet, red and near infrared light wavelengths are proving to be very helpful in balancing the excessive ‘blue light’ exposures from screens and electronics as well as other non-native EMF sources like the ubiquitous WiFi.

LIGHTEN UP… REDUCE YOUR RISK OF EMF POLLUTION

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How Sunlight Affects Sleep, Hormones and Body Fat

Since the beginning of human history, people have lived and worked outdoors during the light of day, absorbing light energy from the sky. An average of 10 hours outdoors each day, 70 hours weekly, was common.
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Following the advent of Edison’s long-lasting light bulb, over the last 100 years, people have moved indoors, away from the natural light that so faithfully regulated our circadian rhythms and energized our brain cells and bodies.
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Today, we spend an average of less than 30 minutes a day or a mere 3 hours per week in daylight, according to a study by Daniel Kripke, M.D., professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego. Scientific research has proven that our circadian rhythms are dependent upon light entering our eyes to regulate our body’s master clock. According to the quality and quantity of light received, key hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin are released in the brain to set our daily rhythms.
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Is it any wonder that we experience many of the symptoms of being out of rhythm? Weight gain, fatigue, depression, headaches, pain, hormonal imbalances, sleep disorders, PMS, lowered immune responses, vitamin deficiencies and lack of vitality are but a few of the many health problems that may be associated with being out of rhythm.
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Artificial Light and Obesity
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Since low fat diets and exercise have gone to war against obesity, the average American has actually gained 8.5 pounds. Increasing numbers of people are getting type 2 diabetes. Some people feel they exercise like maniacs but are always hungry, are overweight and gain weight if they even smell a cookie.
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Researchers T.S. Wiley and Bent Formby believe that the over consumption of fat and a lack of exercise do not cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They base their conclusions on more than a decade of research at the National Institutes of Health. They say that avoiding artificial fats can help, but completely avoiding artificial toxins is impossible. They believe the problems of obesity and cancer can be helped with a solution as simple as turning off a light bulb and paying more attention to the essential need for sunlight.
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Before the invention of the light bulb and the electric power grid, when the sun set, the environment grew dark. If people stayed up late, their activity was lit by the dim glow of fire or candles. When night fell, most people went to bed and slept. In the winter, people spent up to 14 hours a day in the dark. In the past, the abdominal fat pad now common year-round in insulin-resistant and type 2 diabetic patients would have kept internal organs warm and served as an energy store for the famine season of winter.
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In cold weather, the body increases cholesterol production to lower the freezing temperature of cell membranes. Chronic high insulin leads to insulin resistance. Blood sugar cannot enter muscle cells, so all sugar goes to fat cells for storage or gets turned into cholesterol. This makes insulation and “antifreeze” to prepare the body for the winter famine that never comes for many in the modern world. In the summer, the body gets the message to produce hormones that say, “Eat all you can and build up a fat pad so you will survive the dark winter famine.” The readily available annual supply of sugary foods at anytime during the day or night contributes to the hormone disruption cycle.
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Today, artificial light tricks the body into thinking every day, year-round, is the season to eat a lot and gain weight. Moreover, the flickering light of TV at night causes dopamine release telling the body to eat and store fat. Even if one sleeps eight hours a night, several hours may be spent sleeping in a room with artificial or outside light leaking in, interfering with melatonin production.
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Artificial light also provides an abnormal light spectrum. Staying up late also means insulin stays higher at night, when it should be low. Cortisol levels then fall so late that they interfere with deep sleep, and then cortisol does not come up normally in the morning. If cortisol is not high enough to enhance dopamine release in the morning, a person may feel rushed and have poor memory and trouble planning for the new day. Abnormal cortisol fluctuation can also cause the appetite to come roaring on in the afternoon and evening. Melatonin would have suppressed the appetite at night, but it will not be available to do so when the lights are on.
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Thus, after sunset, the later we have exposure to light bulbs, computer monitors, and TV screens, the more we are prompted to eat, especially carbohydrates. It doesn’t work to try to burn off the extra weight through exercise at night because that makes the cortisol levels go up even more.
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The natural hours of light and dark each day regulate hormones like insulin, serotonin and dopamine. Light curbs melatonin production at the pre-optic site connecting to the pineal gland. Research on rats showed that light, even less than that of a candle, in the dark phase (night), disrupts the production of the antioxidant melatonin and increases tumor growth. On the other hand, long dark nights change the metabolism from sugar burning to fat burning.
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Artificially long hours of light—every day, all year long—eliminate seasons, as far as the body can tell. This can be countered by reducing the amount of light in one’s environment at night and by getting adequate sunlight for good light hygiene.

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Two Forms of Melatonin?

Melatonin and sunlight are intimately linked and the relationship is unique in the fact that there are two forms of melatonin, circulatory and subcellular.  Both appear to be controlled by either the absence of sunlight or presence of sunlight. While circulatory melatonin may be the ‘hormone of darkness’ subcellular melatonin may be the ‘hormone of daylight’.
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The main point of this hypothesizes is that the subcellular melatonin is being produced in response to near infrared light (NIR) photons which make up the majority of natural sunlight.
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I’m happy to share a Melatonin Research article that my associate Scott Zimmerman co-authored with Prof. Russel J. Reiter. Melatonin and the Optics of the Human Body
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Sun Avoidance Is as Risky as Smoking

Recent research highlights the importance of sensible sun exposure, stating “Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific.”
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The research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2018, calls for an immediate revision of public health recommendations, noting that moderate, non-burning UV exposure is a health benefit and should be recommended as such.

The authors warn that the public has been misled and misinformed about the health ramifications of sun avoidance.

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A press release by the Canadian Vitamin D Society notes: “The authors examined the current state of scientific research and found that severe sunburns are linked to an increase risk of melanoma but non-burning sun exposure is linked to a reduced risk of melanoma”.
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“This is a message the public never receive from current public health guidelines,” states Dr. David Hoel, lead author, department of public health sciences, Medical University of South Carolina. “The public is led to believe that all sun exposure should be avoided and that the avoidance of sun exposure is free of risk from a health perspective… that is not the case.”
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The paper warns an estimated 12 percent of all U.S. deaths may be linked to inadequate sun exposure, and that sun avoidance is as potent a risk factor for death as smoking.

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Compelling evidence supporting the idea that regular sun exposure benefits health and longevity was published in the Journal of Internal Medicine in 2014. In this study, led by Pelle Lindqvist, senior research fellow at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, the sun exposure habits of nearly 30,000 Swedish women were evaluated in a 20-year-long study. According to the authors:
  • All-cause mortality was inversely related to sun exposure habits. The mortality rate amongst avoiders of sun exposure was approximately twofold higher compared with the highest sun exposure group, resulting in excess mortality with a population attributable risk of 3 percent.
  • The results of this study provide observational evidence that avoiding sun exposure is a risk factor for all-cause mortality. Following sun exposure advice that is very restrictive in countries with low solar intensity might in fact be harmful to women’s health.”
  • The take-home message of this study: Women who avoided the sun had double the mortality risk of those who got regular sun exposure..
There are not many daily lifestyle choices that double your risk of dying.
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Two years later, Lindqvist published a follow-up paper, in which more than 25,500 Swedish women between the ages of 25 and 64 were again followed for 20 years. Detailed information about sun exposure habits and confounding factors were obtained and analyzed in a “competing risk” scenario.
  • Overall, women who got regular sun exposure did have a higher risk for melanoma compared to sun avoiders, but again, they still had a lower all-cause mortality risk, likely due to their increased vitamin D levels.
  • Women with active sun exposure habits had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and non-cancer death compared to those who avoided the sun. What’s more, sun avoidance was determined to be as hazardous as smoking, in terms of its effects on life expectancy.
  • Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking. Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6 to 2.1 years.

Got Mal-illumination?

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Ancient New Medicine

Professionals and patients alike have welcomed changes in healthcare over the past few decades. In the scientific world there has been excitement over breakthroughs, with research highlighting the efficacy of a variety of treatments. Some of these harness the most modern, state-of-the-art techniques, while others draw on natural resources and mechanisms as old as time. Many of the most successful interventions are based on marriages of ancient and modern.
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Now, as the medical profession finds itself exhausting the valuable resource of antibiotic therapy through its overuse, many doctors are looking for viable alternatives. An ancient ‘new’ therapy is beginning to shine bright. Light therapy is rapidly finding its place once again amongst the armory of the modern physician.
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Enlightened Health

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The history of light therapy dates as far back as the ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks, all of whom created healing temples based on recognition of the therapeutic actions of light for healing the body as well as the mind and soul. However, many of the elements of such healing potential were attributed to religious metaphor. Yet as early as 1903, the twentieth century embraced the whole area of light for healing once again.
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The date 1903 is notable because it was in this year that physician Dr Neils Finsen was given the Nobel Prize for medicine for both his investigation and clinical application of light therapy. Up until the end of the 1930s various forms of light-related therapies found widespread use in hospitals and clinics throughout the Western world. His discovery of sunlight as a means to cure certain types of small pox and tuberculosis was surpassed with the advent of antibiotics which saw the demise of the use of light treatment on a wide scale.
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So where is the future of light therapy progressing?

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The scientific mechanisms underlying various light therapy treatments are finally being explained. Years of systematic research carried out in centers of excellence all over the world now provides not only a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms which respond to light therapy, but also various biological effects that can be achieved as a result of light stimulation. Medical science is discovering that humans need a wide range of light frequencies for physical, emotional and mental well being...
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Light therapy is developing well into the millennium as more and more research takes us even beyond the cellular level, and molecular biologists explain features of an unimaginable world of energy medicine and quantum physics as the science of light unfolds. At this point it is important to understand one fundamental element, that light therapy, in whatever form it is applied, does not cure anything.
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Here lies the key.

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The attractive element of light therapy is that when applied in the correct doses and relevant specific wavelengths, light actually stimulates the body’s cells towards balance or to re-regulate themselves, resulting in cellular regeneration.
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Natural light is tremendously important for health and vitality, yet its benefits are often lost in today’s busy and usually indoor world. Today we spend an average of less that 30 minutes a day or a mere 3 hours per week in daylight and often much less according to a study by Daniel Kripke, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, UC San Diego.
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In a mere one hundred years or so, humanity has gone from outdoor hunter-gatherer and farmer to indoor contemporary cave dweller. Due to this radical shift, most people are utilizing less than one tenth of the ‘sunlight voltage’ that our genes were originally programmed to depend on.

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Don’t be in the dark about your healthlighten up!

 

 

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Light at Night Linked to Depression

Not Enough Light

Many people are becoming aware of the fact that the lack of light in winter can cause seasonal depression known as SAD.
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SAD is mainly due to the fluctuations in daylight hours as the seasons change, disrupting a person’s circadian rhythm—or internal clock—which controls a person’s physiological response to light and darkness.
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Too Much Light?

Interestingly, recent LAN (light-at-night) research is suggesting that sleeping in a room with even a low level of light is associated with an increased risk of developing depression, even when the light did not cause people to awaken or experience other sleep disturbances during the night.
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In the study, bedroom light intensity was measured objectively, and depressive symptoms were assessed. Of 863 participants (average age = 71.5 years) who did not have depressive symptoms at baseline, 73 participants reported development of depressive symptoms during follow-up (median, 24 months).
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The researchers found that people who were exposed to five lux* or more of light at night had a “significantly higher depression risk” than those who slept in darker rooms.

*Five lux is approximately the equivalent of the light that falls on a three-foot-square surface that is about three feet away from five candles.

Previous studies have suggested the possibility that LAN induces sleep disturbances, impaired melatonin secretion and misalignments between sleep/wake behavior and depression is frequently accompanied by these conditions.
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Not Just Seniors

The researchers also point out that the association they found between LAN exposure and depressive symptoms is unlikely to be limited to older populations. In fact, quite the opposite may be true.
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Age-related cloudiness of the crystalline lens causes decreased light reception to the retina, even before cataract diagnosis and the capacity for light reception of a 70-year-old is one-fifth of that of a teenager.
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Conclusion.

Rresearch suggests that sleeping in total darkness may be a viable option to reduce the risk of depression.

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