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Blue light exposure decreases systolic blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and improves endothelial function in humans

Stern, Manuel, Broja, Melanie, Sansone, Roberto, Gröne, Michael, Skene, Simon, Liebmann, Joerg, Suschek, Christoph, Born, Matthias, Kelm, Malte and Heiss, Christian (2018) Blue light exposure decreases systolic blood pressure, arterial stiffness, and improves endothelial function in humans European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 25 (17). pp. 1875-1883.

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Previous studies have shown that ultraviolet light can lead to release of nitric oxide (NO) from the skin and decrease blood pressure. In contrast to visible light local application of UV light bears a cancerogenic risk. Here, we investigated whether whole body exposure to visible blue light can also decrease blood pressure and increase endothelial function in healthy subjects.


In a randomized cross-over study, 14 healthy male subjects were exposed on 2 days to monochromatic blue light or blue light with a filter foil (control light) over 30 min. We measured blood pressure (primary endpoint), heart rate, forearm vascular resistance, forearm-blood-flow, endothelial function (flow-mediated dilation), pulse wave velocity, and plasma NO species (NOx), nitrite, and nitroso compounds (RXNO) (secondary endpoints) during and up to 2 hours after exposure.


Blue light exposure significantly decreased systolic blood pressure and increased heart rate as compared to control. In parallel, blue light significantly increased forearm-blood-flow, flow-mediated dilation, circulating NOx and RXNO while it decreased forearm vascular resistance and pulse wave velocity.


Whole body irradiation with visible blue light at real world doses improves blood pressure, endothelial function, and arterial stiffness by NO released from photolabile intracutanous NO metabolites into circulating blood.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Biosciences and Medicine
Authors :
Stern, Manuel
Broja, Melanie
Sansone, Roberto
Gröne, Michael
Liebmann, Joerg
Suschek, Christoph
Born, Matthias
Kelm, Malte
Date : 10 September 2018
DOI : 10.1177/2047487318800072
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright The Author(s) 2018. Published by SAGE Publications
Uncontrolled Keywords : Blue light; endothelial function; blood pressure; pulse wave velocity; forearm blood flow
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 23 Aug 2018 12:07
Last Modified : 16 Nov 2018 12:29

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