Red Light Therapy Reduces Blood Glucose and Increases Metabolic Rate

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    In this video from MedCram, Dr. Seheult analyzes a study that looks at the use of red light therapy and how it affects blood glucose and metabolic rate.  Dr. Seheult references a prior study that showed how light can affect the metabolic panel in humans. It found that if you have more sun exposure in the week prior to your blood work,  you have a better chance of having more insulin sensitivity and less of a diabetic profile. This was also discussed in MedCram’s Light as Medicine video and what effect being in the sunlight does to your body at the cellular level. 

    Is red light the same as infrared light?

    In this video, Dr. Seheult talks about red light therapy which is different from infrared light. Infrared light can’t be seen as it is only felt as warmth. Red light therapy can be seen as it is in the visible spectrum.

    How does red light affect the mitochondria?

    In this study from London, that was just posted and not yet peer reviewed, it reviews how red light (wavelengths 650-880 nm) stimulates mitochondrial respiration and shifts their metabolism. This is done due to the fact that with red light it stimulates the water layer surrounding the mitochondrial ATP rotor pumps and reduces the water viscosity and allows the rotor pump to achieve greater momentum and increase ATP production.  This study wanted to evaluate if this was indeed the case in humans.

    The study took 30 subjects and randomized them into a placebo arm and intervention arm. The intervention arm involved exposure to the 670 nm wavelength.  Both groups had an initial glucose tolerance test. Blood glucose and carbon dioxide levels were also measured.  Then within 7 days, each group received either an intervention with the light turned on for 15 minutes with a power of 40 mW/cm2 over 800 cm2 and given 40 cm away or no light turned on. The intervention was done to their back with the light sealed off to the skin.  As a result, the patients could not differentiate if the light was on or off. This was done 45 minutes before the glucose tolerance test was given again.

    Most of the red light fixtures that can be bought online have a higher power range than what was used in the study. When the blood glucose results were compared amongst the placebo vs the group that received the 670 nm light intervention, they found that there was statistical significance especially at the 45 min and 60 min mark such that those who were in the placebo arm had higher glucose rates compared to the intervention group. When comparing the intervention group and the glucose tolerance test  results before and after the light intervention was given, there was also statistical significance in the glucose levels.  The light intervention group showed lower sugars in the same subjects compared to without the light intervention. 

    Is red light good for your body?

    So what the authors of this study were trying to prove is that when red light irradiates the mitochondria, the water around the pump becomes less viscous and allows the pump to spin faster and it reduces the concentration of glucose and as a result increases the basal metabolic rate.  Overall there appears to be some good evidence that sunlight that penetrates into the mitochondria can improve mitochondrial function and metabolic health.  We have seen evidence of this in other studies. One such study, MedCram reviewed on infrared light and COVID-19 outcomes in this video

    This whole process has been a learning experience for MedCram and we encourage you to get outside as much as possible. We spend 93% of our lives indoors. Let’s change those stats. 


    Associations of Outdoor Temperature, Bright Sunlight, and Cardiometabolic Traits in Two European Population-Based Cohorts (Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism) |… 

    Signatures of Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Impaired Fatty Acid Metabolism in Plasma of Patients with Post-Acute Sequelae of COVID-19 (Metabolites) |…

    Optical stimulation of mitochondria reduces blood glucose levels (ResearchGate) |… 

    Sunlight: Optimize Health and Immunity (MedCram) |    • Sunlight: Optimize Health and Immunit…

     Long Covid and Fat Metabolism Mitochondrial Dysfunction: Getting Outside Might Be an Answer (MedCram) |    • Long Covid and Fat Metabolism Mitocho…   

    Near Infrared Light (940nm) Improves COVID Outcomes: Exciting Randomized Control Trial (MedCram) |    • Near Infrared Light (940nm) Improves …  

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