Blue Light, SAD, And Bilirubin

gately

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Does anyone know why blue light therapy is an effective treatment for SAD (and often for insomnia, energy, and other related issues?) Peat has said blue light causes stress, so I'm confused as to why it's been shown to have so many positive effects for so many people. (Countless testimonials on this stuff, plus clinical studies showing benefits.) Could it be that simply any intense phototherapy (of any spectrum) is better than a relative lack of light? And if so, could we assume that everyone using blue light therapy devices would derive the same and greater benefits from red light spectrum devices?

Also, I find it interesting that phototherapy (of an intense BLUE light spectrum) is used on jaundiced newborns. They put the jaundiced babies under a 'bili light' for a couple of days and the bilirubin goes down and then the liver starts taking care of itself. (What I've read is the BLUE light changes the type of bilirubin into a form that is more easily dissolved in water, thus it can be excreted in the urine and stool.) I could not find a source stating if the effects of the bill light would work under a different spectrum (say, red?) So does anyone know if red light would have the same effect on lowering bilirubin? And if not, and only blue light does this, then surely it has some therapeutic benefit, at least under certain conditions? And if it does has benefits, couldn't we be missing out of them by only using red light devices?

I'm not trying to disagree with Peat, I just want a fuller understanding, and get the most benefit from densely illuminating my apartment.
 

crX

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I don't really know a lot about this topic, but it's my understanding that Peat believes that all parts of visible light are beneficial, but that red light has particular benefits for thyroid function.
 

narouz

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Yes, indeed a murky area in PeatDom.

About all I've heard/read Peat say on the subject of Light Therapy for the Eyes (I'll call it that),
seemed to call for using bright, regular incandescent lights.
As I recall, he simply said to look at them for a while--he wasn't specific about time or wattage.

I don't think I've ever heard him say anything good about staring at anything other than regular incandescents--
no blue or green or ultraviolet, and certainly no infrared/heat or halogen.

He has remarked about people having trouble with mood disorders when moving to Eugene, Oregon,
especially during the winters.
And within that context he suggested several hundred watts of bright, regular incandescents, I believe.
But I don't think he even discussed--in that context--looking at those lights--
though it is entirely possible he meant for that to be part of the "therapy."
It just wasn't clear.
But he was addressing, in that instance, mood problems,
so it would seem to me he was talking about symptoms of what is commonly called S.A.D.
And because S.A.D. is typically a light therapy that focuses on the eye...
well...all I can say is that Peat might think there is a usefulness in that kind of eye-oriented light therapy.
 

charlie

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One problem I could see with using just blue light is that Ray Peat has said the red light offsets the damaging effects of the blue light. So by using no red light, and only blue, you have lost the safety effect of the red and therefor could be setting yourself up for trouble with extended use. :2cents
 

crX

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I think he said that incandescents are good because the light composition tends toward the orange and red hues, whereas flourescents have a lot of blue. Here's something he said about it related to thyroid:

" Very bright incandescent lights are helpful, because light acts on, and restores, the same mitochondrial enzymes that are governed by the thyroid hormone. "

This is from this interview:

http://www.thyroid-info.com/articles/ray-peat.htm
 

gately

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Narouz, murky indeed! It's interesting doing the research on this stuff, though. For instance, I just found a study showing that green light was also effective at oxidizing the bilirubin, but that it was slower than blue light. And another which said bili levels decreased like 50% in lab rats under "normal fluorescent lab lights". Anecdotally, I've read sunlight was most rapid and effective, since this is how it was first discovered. I think if I continue looking into which parts of the visible spectrum are beneficial, I'm going to find evidence that all of them are, within some context. Sufficient white light + extra infrared = win? I definitely think we can't go wrong with bright incandescent.

Charlie, I think you're probably right on the money. I think that blue light alone, though causing temporary benefits, especially in light deprived individuals, probably causes stress in the long run due to what Peat has said about blue light and it's damage to cytochrome oxidase. I think blue light, so long as it's paired with red, say, in just plain white light is probably fine, given the number of beneficial studies and anecdotal reports of blue light in certain conditions (for instance, the guy over at http://heelspurs.com/led.html seems to think that blue and red are mutually beneficial in acne, of all things.)

Question from a dumbass:

The clear Bulbrite infrared heat lamps everyone's using: since they're 'clear' they must contain the full spectrum of visible white light ON TOP OF the infrared spectrum which Peat finds beneficial, right? I'm just confused on this point, because I'm an idiot. I live in a basement apartment which receives no natural light and I do a lot of computer work, so I want to make sure I'm not missing out on possible benefits from wavelengths within the full light spectrum. If the Bubrites contain all I need, I'll just buy a ton of those with some extra incandescents. If not, I may invest in a full-spectrum light box for supplemental phototherapy.

Also: hi everyone. I drink lots of milk and juice, like you.
 

narouz

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gately said:
Narouz, murky indeed! It's interesting doing the research on this stuff, though. For instance, I just found a study showing that green light was also effective at oxidizing the bilirubin, but that it was slower than blue light. And another which said bili levels decreased like 50% in lab rats under "normal fluorescent lab lights". Anecdotally, I've read sunlight was most rapid and effective, since this is how it was first discovered. I think if I continue looking into which parts of the visible spectrum are beneficial, I'm going to find evidence that all of them are, within some context. Sufficient white light + extra infrared = win? I definitely think we can't go wrong with bright incandescent.

...

The clear Bulbrite infrared heat lamps everyone's using: since they're 'clear' they must contain the full spectrum of visible white light ON TOP OF the infrared spectrum which Peat finds beneficial, right?... If the Bubrites contain all I need, I'll just buy a ton of those with some extra incandescents. If not, I may invest in a full-spectrum light box for supplemental phototherapy.

gately-
If you look at the Black Body Radiation chart over at the Heelspurs site you link to,
notice the incandescent wavelengths:



As you can see, there is still significant energy in the blue, green, yellow part of the spectrum.
And I think it must be within safe limits
or Peat wouldn't recommend the incandescents like he does.

Now, if you move that incandescent curve further to the right
and imagine what an Infrared curve would look like,
you would have to think that you wouldn't have much of that blue, green, yellow energy left, no?
Also, I would definitely NOT stare into infrared/heatlamps--like the Bulbrite bulb.
Clear safety dangers for one's eyes in doing that!

As we've agreed, if we're looking to Peat for guidance on the Eye Light Therapy angle, there's not much guidance.
But it does seem clear that Peat does not advise ultraviolet, blue, or maybe even green spectrums
for health benefits in general nor for Eye-focused, S.A.D.-style therapy specifically.
It also seems clear to me that he does not think people should stare into infrared lights--Hazard! Hazard!! :D

So those are our known Peat boundaries, left and right (if you will),
as to what we know about Peat Eye Light Therapy.
What we are left with is in-between.
And the best we have in that regard, to my knowledge, is regular incandescents.

The Bulbrite heatlamp is what many Peatians use as a Body Light Therapy.
But I hope and trust that they are not using them for Eye Light Therapy.

In short, as far as what I know about Peat Eye Light Therapy,
the only thing I have ever heard him note is regular incandescents.
 

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gately

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I appreciate you breaking it down, narouz. That clears it up nicely. Ordering some incadescents now.
 

Mittir

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Interesting question.
"In 1994 A.V. Sirotkin found that melatonin inhibits progesterone production but stimulates estrogen production, and it’s widely recognized that melatonin generally inhibits the thyroid hormones, creating an environment in which fertilization, implantation, and development of the embryo are not possible. This combination of high estrogen with low progesterone and low thyroid decreases the resistance of the organism, predisposing it to seizures and excitotoxic damage, and causing the thymus gland to atrophy:----Aging Eyes, Infant Eyes, and Excitable Tissues Ray Peat

This study showed blue light blocks melatonin secretion.

"The results identify the 446–477 nm portion of the spectrum as the most potent wavelengths providing circadian input for regulating melatonin secretion"--- Action spectrum for melatonin regulation in humans: evidence for a novel circadian photoreceptor. "
http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/16/6405.long

Ray Peat treats melatonin as a stress hormone. Thus , Blue light has some benefits that stems from inhibition of melatonin. . But about blue light RP wrote

"Old observations such as Warburg's, that visible light can restore the activity of the "respiratory pigments," showed without doubt that visible light is biochemically active. By the 1960s, several studies had been published showing the inhibition of respiratory enzymes by blue light, and their activation by red light. "--- Aging RP

Only red and orange light activate this respiratory enzyme, Cytochrome oxidase. Infra-red does not help here.
 

Dutchie

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So this 250W Bulbrite clear IR bulb can be used for Vit.D skin stimulation?.....if only they were to be sold over here:(
 

charlie

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No I do not think you will be getting much vitamin D production out of it.
 

chris

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Dutchie said:
So this 250W Bulbrite clear IR bulb can be used for Vit.D skin stimulation?.....if only they were to be sold over here:(

Where are you from Dutchie?
 
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