Can Artificial Lighting Raise Blood Pressure?

As a way of background, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) is nitric oxide’s (NO) arch enemy.  NO is a small molecule that helps blood vessels relax, leading to a lower blood pressure.
Just in case you think you’ve never heard of something like this concept before, Viagra works by affecting NO levels.  So, higher levels of ADMA will lead to higher blood pressure.
It is very well accepted that prediabetes increases ADMA levels, which is why most cases of high blood pressure are actually prediabetes in disguise.  What I was not aware of is that oxidative stress also leads to an increase in ADMA levels (the same mechanism as insulin resistance–by inhibiting the enzyme that breaks down ADMA).
This particular study finds that melatonin, on the other hand, actually blocks this process, leading to normal levels of ADMA.  This means that normal sleep patterns and exposure to as little artificial light as possible at night, can help normalize ADMA levels and hence blood pressure.


James Bogash

For more than a decade, Dr. Bogash has stayed current with the medical literature as it relates to physiology, disease prevention and disease management. He uses his knowledge to educate patients, the community and cyberspace on the best way to avoid and / or manage chronic diseases using lifestyle and targeted supplementation.