On 21/Aug/2019 / In Articles
Researchers from the University of Colorado, United States of America, have said that a novel use of intense light therapy may help decrease the tissue damage experienced during heart attacks. The study, published in the journal, Cell Reports, showed that exposing lab mice to intense light for a week improved their outcomes after heart attacks.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, the researchers also suggested that this procedure could benefit humans. The study’s senior author, Dr Tobias Eckle, said, “We already knew that intense light can protect against heart attacks, but now we have found the mechanism behind it.”
In the study, the researchers discovered that intense light influences the functions of the PER2 gene, which is expressed by a part of the brain that controls circadian rhythms. The researchers discovered that the mice’s heart tissue received extra protection when it experienced issues with oxygen, such as during a heart attack.
When the researchers studied the mice, they found that being able to physically perceive light was vital, as blind mice experienced no benefits from the intense light. The study authors worked with healthy human volunteers and exposed them to 30 minutes of intense light and on five consecutive mornings, they exposed the participants to 10,000 lumens of light and drew blood several times.
The researchers found that PER2 levels increased in response to light therapy in the human participants as it did in the mice. They also reported that human volunteers saw a decreased level of plasma triglycerides and improved metabolism.
Eckle explained that light plays an essential part in human health, not only in regulating the circadian rhythm; but in cardiovascular health as well.
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