The benefits are backed with over 3000 scientific studies. Search on google for most conditions and you will see for yourself. Red light therapy is helpful for everything from thyroid function to wound healing. Both red light and near-infrared light stimulate collagen production, help fade scars and stretch marks, support muscle recovery, hormone health, and more.
- Increasing Collagen and Elastin Production – These are the main proteins that provide structural support for our skin. Collagen provides suppleness, while elastin provides elasticity.
- Fat Metabolism– Although the exact mechanism is not yet fully understood, red light therapy increases the body’s ability to metabolize fat. It may be due to its ability to disperse (some say melt) adipocytes, which are cells that store fat.
- Increasing Energy Levels– As we’ll discuss below, red light therapy generates cellular energy, thus increasing overall energy levels.
- Detoxification Support– Red light therapy causes an increase in lymphatic system activity.
The science of how our bodies metabolize (or “eat”) light to achieve these benefits centres around something called cytochrome c oxidase.
What is red light therapy? (Photobiomodulation)
Exposure to blue light at night can reduce sleep quality, cause hormone imbalances, and contribute to weight gain and depression or anxiety, but that’s not as well known is that other wavelengths also have biological effects. Light not only enters our eyes, our skin can also sense light, and both forms of light exposure have a biological effect. Red light and near-infrared light, for example, have well-documented healing and rejuvenating effects on the body.
How does red light therapy work?
You may remember from biology classes plants convert light energy into chemical energy via photosynthesis. Well just like plants our bodies have the ability to metabolize red and near-infrared light into a form of cellular energy – adenosine triphosphate – that is essential to restoring, repairing, energizing, and maintaining our bodies.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is often referred to as the “energy currency of life.” We can go for a period of time without food, water, and even air, but if our bodies were deprived of ATP for even seconds life could not continue.
Most importantly, the recipe for this “energy currency” depends upon an enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase which makes ATP by helping oxygen (O) bind with nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and hydrogen (H) to form NADH, the hydrogen ions that make ATP synthase.
Unfortunately, stress, sickness, or injury, encourage our cells to produce excessive amounts of nitric oxide, which “steals” cytochrome c oxidase by binding with it so that it can’t function correctly. When Cytochrome c oxidase is low our capacity to make ATP is reduced. Suffice to say, without sufficient ATP, our body’s ability to make collagen, metabolize fat, synthesize hormones and perform other tasks diminishes. We then begin to feel tired, our energy levels are low and we can’t recover from stress or illness as quickly. The bodies ability to heal and repair is squandered.
Red light and near-infrared light works by breaking the bond between nitric oxide and cytochrome c oxidase, thus freeing up the cytochrome c oxidase to make ATP.
Its all about wavelengths and intensity. Red light in the 630-670 nanometer range and near-infrared light in the 810-880 nanometer range are recommended because they have the most documented benefits. This is why we have carefully selected the led’s on all red light wellbeing home devices.
The key thing to remember is that if the cells produce more energy the bodies ability to heal and rejuvenate will be increased. Red light therapy can help with;
Increased Collagen Production and Skin Repair
Red light therapy penetrates different levels of the skin to excite cellular activity and increase blood supply to the skin’s surface. Increased blood flow to the area means more nutrients and oxygen to nourish the skin cells.
Hair Growth, Thickness and Shine
There are many factors to consider in the success of regrowing hair. The key is to have visible red light absorbed by the hair follicle. Wavelengths between 630-670 nanometers are most effective in being absorbed and cause a natural biological reaction to stimulate hair growth. If however the hair follicle has actually died, it cannot absorb the visible red light.
Optimizes Metabolism and Energy Levels
Benefits of the Thyroid and Hormones
By preventing high levels (too high) of (NO) nitric oxide (stresses) which inhibit cell respiration. There’s a removal process occurring in the mitochondrial enzymes – this makes for better oxygen uptake in the mitochondria. When red light / infrared light is applied therapeutically, the endocrine (hormonal) system gets a rest/boost from the reduction in NO. By the creation of more ATP via the mitochondria in the Leydig cells (cells responsible for producing testosterone). This, in turn, helps increase the amount of the testosterone hormone being produced.
Supports Healing And Recovery
Near-infrared and red light therapy help mitochondria produce more energy, decrease inflammation, and help build the cell defense systems to increase resiliency.