Dim light exposure in the room could have a damaging effects on your health, according to a new study conducted by researchers from Tulane University School of Medicine and published under the Endocrine Society.
According to the research team, the exposure to the dim light during the night can cause breast cancer to spread to the bones, as shown in the pre-clinical study.
The statistics from the National Cancer Institute stated that 150,000 women in the United States itself in the year of 2017 experienced their breast cancer cells metastasized or even spread outside the breast. It has been found that when the breast cancer does spread, it spreads around to the bones too which then has the capability of causing severe pain and fragile bones.
Muralidharan Anbalagan, Ph.D., assistant professor, Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans stated that this study is first of a kind which stresses on the impacts of the exposure of the dim light at night on the circadian rhythm of the cancer patient which then can increase the formation of the bone metastatic breast cancer.
The team of researchers developed a mouse model of the bone metastatic breast cancer for the study. They injected the mice with estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cells which did have a low affinity to grow into the bones into the tibia as well as shinbone of the female mice.
Much like humans, even these mice had a strong nighttime circadian melatonin signal much like how you would experience with humans. This specific strong nighttime circadian melatonin signal is what is believed to impose the anti-cancer actions and also helps promote sleep.
All of the mice were exposed to light steadily for 12 hours a day. In one separate group of 3 mice, it was in the dark consecutively for 12 hours straight which helped promote the production of endogenous melatonin. Another group of mice were exposed to 12 hours of light followed by 12 hours in the dim light at night. This was found to hinder the nocturnal melatonin production.
The exposed dim light during the night was just 0.2 lux which is less than what you would experience with the night light or even the display light from the cell phone.
When the x-rays where conducted, it was found that the mice exposed to the dim light at night developed bigger tumours and even end up causing more bone damage in comparison to the mice which was in the dark/light condition.
Anbalagan concluded that the research has identified the importance of the intact nocturnal circadian melatonin anti-cancer signal in overpowering the bone metastatic breast tumor growth.
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