Published: 2018-09-25

Influence of light on serum cholesterol levels in complete (by birth) blind people

J. Sudha Rani, D. S. S. K. Raju


Background: With blindness normal stimulation of the hypothalamic pituitary axis is reduced. The serum cholesterol is frequently increased the upper limit of normal it is unclear whether the effect is due to complete absence of light, HPA axis function reduction or diurnal variation of melatonin levels.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire ascertained lifestyle characteristics, including alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus and dietary habits. Inclusion criteria: 50 complete blindness persons (by birth), healthy adults, Age group between 30-50 years. Exclusion area: age <30, Age >50, alcoholic, liver diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases.

Results: A total No of 100 cases were studied by dividing them into two groups controls 50 and cases 50. The results so obtain were compared with 50 healthy controls (excluded consumed alcoholic, liver diseases, kidney diseases, diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases.). Statistical evaluation was carried out to confirm any deviation from the normal values. The mean serum cholesterol of Cases (298.28±26.82) is having higher level as compared to the mean value of controls (153.38±11.79). This increase is statistically highly significant (<0.0001).

Conclusions: It has been shown from this study with blindness normal stimulation of the HPA is reduced consequently the serum cholesterol is frequently increased the concentration may exceed the upper limit of normal. On this basis we observed increases the upper limit of the cholesterol levels in blind healthy people than subjects with normal healthy light perception.


Blindness, Cholesterol, Light, Melatonin

Full Text:



Lucas RJ, Lall GS, Allen AE, Brown TM. How rod, cone, and melanopsin photoreceptors come together to enlighten the mammalian circadian clock. InProgress in brain research 2012 Jan 1 (Vol. 199, pp. 1-18). Elsevier.

Moore RY, Lenn NJ. A retinohypothalamic projection in the rat. J Comparative Neurology. 1972 Sep 1;146(1):1-4.

Kalsbeek A, Palm IF, La Fleur SE, Scheer FA, Perreau-Lenz S, Ruiter M, et al. SCN outputs and the hypothalamic balance of life. J biological rhythms. 2006 Dec;21(6):458-69.

Mohawk JA, Green CB, Takahashi JS. Central and peripheral circadian clocks in mammals. Annual review of neuroscience. 2012 Jul 21;35:445-62.

Reiter RJ. The pineal gland: an intermediary between the environment and the endocrine system. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 1983;8:31-40.

Reiter RJ. Melatonin and human reproduction. Ann Med. 1988;30:103-8.

Grivas TB, Savvidou OD. Melatonin the" light of night" in human biology and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Scoliosis. 2007 Dec;2(1):6.

Aravantinos D. Physiology of the woman. Athens, Greece: Parizianos Publications. 1985.

Klein DC, Auerbach DA, Namboodiri MA, Wheler GH. Indole metabolism in the mammalian pineal gland. The pineal gland. 1981;1:199-227.

Zatz M, Kebabian JW, O'DEA RF. Regulation of β-adrenergic function in the rat pineal gland. InReceptors and Hormone Action, Volume III 1978 (pp. 195-219).

Hendrickson AE, Wagoner N, Cowan WM. An autoradiographic and electron microscopic study of retino-hypothalamic connections. Zeitschrift für Zellforschung und mikroskopische Anatomie. 1972 Mar 1;135(1):1-26.

Swanson LW, Cowan WM. The efferent connections of the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus. J Comp Neurol. 1975;160:1-12.

Kappers JA. The development, topographical relations and innervation of the epiphysis cerebri in the albino rat. Z Zellforsch. 1960;52:163-215.

Koppisetti S, Jenigiri B, Terron MP, Tengattini S, Tamura H, Flores LJ, et al. Reactive oxygen species and the hypomotility of the gall bladder as targets for the treatment of gallstones with melatonin: a review. Digestive diseases and sciences. 2008 Oct 1;53(10):2592-603.

Chan TY, Tang PL. Effect of melatonin on the maintenance of cholesterol homeostasis in the rat. Endocrine research. 1995 Jan 1;21(3):681-96.

Mullerwieland D, Behnke B, Koopmann K, Krone W. Melatonin inhibits LDL receptor activity and cholesterol-synthesis in freshly isolated human mononuclear leukocytes. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 1994 Aug 30;203(1):416-21.

Sparks JD, Sparks CE. Hormonal regulation of lipoprotein assembly and secretion. Current Opinion in Lipidology. 1993 Jun 1;4(3):177-86.

Edwards PA, Muroya H, Gould RG. In vivo demonstration of the circadian rhythm of cholesterol biosynthesis inthe liver and intestine of the rat. J Lipid Res. 1972 May 1;13(3):396-401.

Miettinen TA. Diurnal variation of cholesterol precursors squalene and methyl sterols in human plasma lipoproteins. J Lipid Res. 1982 Mar 1;23(3):466-73.

Poole PA, Duane WC. Effects of bile acid administration on bile acid synthesis and its circadian rhythm in man. Hepatology. 1988 Sep 1;8(5):1140-6.

Allain CC, Poon LS, Chan CS, Richmond WF, Fu PC. Enzymatic determination of total serum cholesterol. Clinical chemistry. 1974 Apr 1;20(4):470-5.

Moore RY. Organization of the mammalian circadian system. Circadian Clocks and Their Adjustments. 1995 Jan 1;183:88-106.

Morin LP, Cummings LA. Effect of surgical or photoperiodic castration, testosterone replacement or pinealectomy on male hamster running rhythmicity. Physiology behavior. 1981 May 1;26(5):825-38.

Lockley SW, Skene DJ, Arendt J, Tabandeh H, Bird AC, Defrance R. Relationship between melatonin rhythms and visual loss in the blind. J Clin Endo Meta. 1997 Nov 1;82(11):3763-70.

Dinet V, Ansari N, Torres-Farfan C, Korf HW. Clock gene expression in the retina of melatonin-proficient (C3H) and melatonin-deficient (C57BL) mice. J Pineal Res. 2007;42:83-91.

Yamazaki S, Goto M, Menaker M. No evidence for extraocular photoreceptors in the circadian system of the Syrian hamster. J Biol Rhythms. 1999;14:197-201.

Brzezinski A. Melatonin in human. N Engl J Med. 1997;16:186-95.

Bellastella A, Amato G, Bizzarro A, Carella C, Criscuolo T, Iorio S, et al. Light, blindness and endocrine secretions. J Endocrinol Invest. 1999;22:874-85.

Lewy AJ, Newsome DA. Different types of melatonin circadian secretory rhythms in some blind subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Meta. 1983;56(6):1103-7.

Bellastella A, Sinisi AA, Criscuolo T, De Bellis A, Carella C, Iorio S, et al. Melatonin and pituitary-thyroid axis status in blind adults: a possible resetting after puberty. Clin Endocrinol. 1995;43:707-11.

Back P, Hamprecht B, Lynen F. Regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis in rat liver: diurnal changes of activity and influence of bile acids. Archives of biochemistry biophysics. 1969 Aug 1;133(1):11-21.

Hamprecht B, Nüssler C, Lynen F. Rhythmic changes of hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme a reductase activity in livers of fed and fasted rats. FEBS letters. 1969 Jul 1;4(2):117-21.

Shapiro DJ, Rodwell VW. Diurnal variation and cholesterol regulation of hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity. Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 1969;37(5):867-72.

Edwards PA, Muroya H, Gould RG. In vivo demonstration of the circadian rhythm of cholesterol biosynthesis in the liver and intestine of the rat. J Lipid Res. 1972 May 1;13(3):396-401.

Ho KJ. Effect of cholesterol feeding on circadian rhythm of hepatic and intestinal cholesterol biosynthesis in hamsters. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biol Med. 1975;150(2):271-7.

Mayer D. The circadian rhythm of synthesis and catabolism of cholesterol. Archives of toxicology. 1976 Sep 1;36(3-4):267-76.

Ho KJ. Circadian rhythm of cholesterol biosynthesis: dietary regulation in the liver and small intestine of hamsters. Inter J Chronobiol. 1979;6(1):39-50.

Mortimer BC, Beveridge DJ, Phan CT, Lutton C, Redgrave TG. The diurnal rhythms of cholesterol metabolism and plasma clearance of model chylomicrons: comparison of normal and genetically hypercholesterolemic rats (RICO). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 1998 Jul 1;120(4):671-80.

Oishi K, Miyazaki K, Kadota K, Kikuno R, Nagase T, Atsumi GI, et al. Genome-wide expression analysis of mouse liver reveals CLOCK-regulated circadian output genes. J Biological Chemistry. 2003;278(42):41519-27.

Gälman C, Angelin B, Rudling M. Bile acid synthesis in humans has a rapid diurnal variation that is asynchronous with cholesterol synthesis. Gastroenterology. 2005 Nov 1;129(5):1445-53.