Harvard Study (1) Suggests a New Tool to Fight Type 2 Diabetes

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Nurses with the highest melatonin production have about half the type 2 diabetes of those with the lowest melatonin, according to the Harvard study. Orange eyeglasses that eliminate blue light, (available from Photonic Developments LLC) help maximize melatonin production.

In the April 3, 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health describe the results of a 13 year study of the incidence of type 2 diabetes in nurses participating in the Nurses’ Health Study. Quoting from the abstract, “Among participants without diabetes who provided urine and blood samples at baseline in 2000, we identified 370 women who developed type 2 diabetes from 2000-2012 and matched 370 controls using risk-set sampling. Associations between melatonin secretion at baseline and incidence of type 2 diabetes were evaluated with multivariable conditional logistic regression controlling for demographic characteristics, lifestyle habits, measures of sleep quality ….”. Comparing the results they found “Women in the highest category of melatonin secretion had an estimated diabetes incidence rate of 4.27 cases/1000 person-years compared with 9.27 cases/1000 person-years in the lowest category.” That is, those with the highest melatonin were less than half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those in the lowest melatonin category.

A study in 2005 conducted at the University of Toronto (2) found that wearing orange goggles that blocked the blue part of the spectrum out to a wavelength of about 530nm allowed the subjects to produce melatonin during the night just as they had when kept in darkness, despite being exposed to bright lights. Based upon this and several animal studies, a group of physicists at John Carroll University developed light bulbs that don’t produce blue light and eyeglasses that eliminate it as well as filters for TV and computer screens, even filters for iPads and iPhones. They are sold by Photonic Developments LLC at http://www.lowbluelights.com. Most people buy the company's products to help them sleep better. There is a money-back guarantee if customers' sleep does not improve. The possible reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes is a free bonus. Nearly 90% of the customers who try these products find they improve their sleep. Many find success after years of trying practically everything else.

JAMA. 2013 Apr 3;309(13):1388-96. doi: 10.1001/jama.2013.2710.
Melatonin secretion and the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
McMullan CJ, Schernhammer ES, Rimm EB, Hu FB, Forman JP.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 May;90(5):2755-61. Epub 2005 Feb 15.
Blocking low-wavelength light prevents nocturnal melatonin suppression with no adverse effect on performance during simulated shift work.
Kayumov L, Casper RF, Hawa RJ, Perelman B, Chung SA, Sokalsky S, Shapiro CM.

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Richard Hansler
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