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Red Light Therapy | 5 Reasons to Try Photobiomodulation | Bio-Hacking (Scientific Results)
Red light therapy limits the inflammatory response and reduces oxidative damage by reducing inflammatory cytokines (TNF-a, IL-1A, and IL-6)
LLLT aids skin rejuvenation through increasing collagen production. Increase in collagen production occurs by LLLT’s increasing effects on PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor) and fibroblast production which happens through decreasing apoptosis, increasing vascular perfusion, bFGF and TGF-β
Regulation of melatonin and temperature is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus of the brain, which fluctuates cyclically but needs an external stimulus to maintain a consistent 24-hour cycle. The mechanism of light therapy for sleep is believed to be via stimulation of the SCN, effectively correcting the timing and/or strengthening the amplitude body’s circadian cycles.
Study – Journal of Athletic Training:
Twenty athletes (considered elite female basketball players) were divided into red-light treatment (n = 10) and placebo (n = 10) groups. The red-light treatment participants received 30 minutes of irradiation from a red-light therapy every night for 14 days – the placebo group did not receive light illumination. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire was completed, serum melatonin was assessed, and 12-minute run was performed at pre intervention (baseline) and post intervention (14 days.) The 14-day whole-body irradiation with red-light treatment improved the sleep, serum melatonin level, and endurance performance of the subjects. Specifically, they found that at pre-intervention, there was no difference between the red-light treatment (22.2 ± 7.2 pg/mL) and placebo (21.7 ± 6.8 pg/mL) groups (Picograms Per Millilitre.) At post intervention, participants in the red-light treatment group (38.8 ± 6.7 pg/mL) demonstrated greater improvement in serum melatonin level than the placebo group (23.8 ± 7.3 pg/mL
Performance & Recovery:
Study – Lasers in Medicinal Science-
A single phototherapy intervention was performed immediately after pre-exercise (baseline) maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) with red light or placebo in six sites of quadriceps.
*MVC is a standardized method for measurement of muscle strength in patients*
MVC, delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and creatine kinase (CK) activity were analyzed. Assessments were performed before, 1 min, 1, 24, 48, 72, and 96 h after eccentric exercise protocol employed to induce fatigue. Phototherapy increased MVC was compared to placebo from immediately after to 96 h after exercise. DOMS was significantly decreased compared to placebo from immediately after to 96 h after exercise. CK activity was significantly decreased compared to placebo with phototherapy as well.
Some physiological effects attributed to red light therapy are related to soft tissue metabolism:
Across different disorders, increased microcirculation, enhanced ATP synthesis, and stimulation of mitochondrial respiratory chain and mitochondrial function have been observed after red light therapy.
Reduction of ROS release and creatine phosphokinase activity, and increased production of antioxidants and heat shock proteins are believed to play a role here.
Red light therapy has been reported to induce reductions in β-amyloid plaques, together with increased ATP levels and improved overall mitochondrial function. Red light therapy treatment increases ATP levels and overall cell number, while reducing β-amyloid plaques. First, RLT acts at a cellular level, activating intracellular cascades that ultimately contribute to the survival of the target, and possibly neighboring, cells and/or stimulating neurogenesis. Second, RLT appears capable of triggering systemic protective mechanisms; this presumably involves as yet unidentified circulating cellular or humoral factors that can transduce protective effects to the brain.