Excessive screentime can trigger early puberty in females

The time you spend on phones and tablets can change hormones and raise the chance of developing early puberty in girls, according to the results of a study.

The study demonstrated that a longer period of exposure to blue light was associated with an earlier onset of puberty in female rats. The study also found lower levels of melatonin, higher levels of certain hormones that regulate reproduction and physical changes to their Ovaries.

“We have discovered that exposure to blue light, enough to alter the levels of melatonin can also alter levels of hormones that affect reproduction and lead to an earlier onset of puberty. Furthermore the longer the exposure, the more early the puberty onset,” said researcher Aylin Kilinc Ugurlu of Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey.

For the study, which was presented in the 60th annual European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology Meeting, the group utilized a rat model in order to examine the effects of exposure to blue light on levels of reproductive hormones as well as the time of puberty’s beginning.

Female rats were split in three different groups of 6 and subjected to either a normal light cycle for 6 hours, or 12 hours blue light.

First signs of puberty began much earlier in both group exposed to blue light and the longer the period of exposure the sooner the puberty onset.

The rats exposed to the blue light saw lower levels of melatonin as well as higher levels of particular reproductive hormones (oestradiol as well as luteinising hormone) in addition to physical changes to their ovarian tissue. All in line with the puberty onset.

In the 12 hours following exposure, the rats also showed signs of cell damage and inflammation in their ovaries.

The use of blue-light emitting cell devices has been previously associated with disturbed sleep patterns of children however, these results suggested that there may be additional dangers for children’s growth and fertility in the future.

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