Excess Of Artificial Light Can Make You Fat
Don’t get overwhelmed by the above title. There has been in study done on mice in this regard and it has not been tried on humans. So, hold on to your horses!
Talking about that study, it has been done in Netherlands is quite surprising. The scientists were able to make mice plump by merely exposing them to twenty four hours a day of artificial light. The fat mice did not exercise less or eat more than the other set of mice that were thin. The main difference found was in the activity of brown fat. Brown fat’s job is burning dietary fat and turning that into body heat in mammals.
The study can be helpful in explaining the connections between obesity in humans and exposure to light. It also throws light on brown fat that explains why some people are slim in spite of exercising a little and eating a lot of food.
Over the years, scientists have been able to find connections between shift work and obesity. Another study with 100,000 women was done to reveal the connection between obesity and the amount of light entering the bedrooms during sleeping hours.
The point here is that how can light exposure result in fat deposition? One explanation can be that light affects sleep and that leads to a disruption in eating patterns. But there is curiosity over the brown fat connection!
Brown fat is needed to maintain the right body temperature. It has a role to play in keeping people thin. Some individuals have more brown fat than others and it tends to diminish with age and obesity completely depletes it. Now, that is downright cruel!
The new study can be good news if it applies to humans because it points to a factor that can be kept under control. The scientists exposed the mice to 24 hours of artificial light just like how it is in the office or at home. In order to be able to do a comparison they exposed some mice to 12 hrs of light and 12 hrs of darkness. They then measured the brown fat activity. They also monitored the way they moved around and how much they ate.
After 5 weeks the mice that were 24 hours exposed to light had more body fat than the other mice. Both the mice groups slept, exercised and ate the same. Researchers said that their base metabolism changed. The brown fat stopped burning dietary fat.
Now the point is that how can light entering the eye affect the brown fat activity. It is said that the light affects a part of the brain that contains the master circadian clock. Experiments show that the light can talk to that part of the brain and the part of the brain can talk to the brown fat via the nervous system.
Drugs are being developed to affect this circuit of the brain and brown fat but nothing effective and path-breaking has come into being.
The study that was done on mice is also being planned for humans and during the study the scientists will monitor the changes in body fat. And we don’t know what the results will be.
That is all folks!
Do you feel that excess of artificial light can make you fat?
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