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Bright Light Speeds Up Aging in Mice

(Scientific American) Mice exposed to constant light experienced bone-density loss, skeletal-muscle weakness and inflammation; restoring their health was as simple as turning the lights off. The findings are preliminary, but they suggest that people living in cities flooded with artificial light may face similar health risks.
“We came to know that smoking was bad, or that sugar is bad, but light was never an issue,” says [Johanna Meijer, a neuroscientist at Leiden Medical Center in the Netherlands]. “Light and darkness matter.”
Many previous studies have hinted at a connection between artificial light exposure and health problems in animals and people. Epidemiological analyses have found that shift workers have an increased risk of breast cancer, metabolic syndrom and osteoporosis. People exposed to bright light at night are more likely to have cardiovascular disease and often don’t get enough sleep.
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