Red light therapy can reduce blood glucose levels

Red light therapy can reduce blood glucose levels

Mitochondria provides energy for vital cellular processes, using oxygen and glucose to produce the energy-rich nucleoside adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Previous research has established that long- wavelength light between approximately 650-900 nm (spanning the visible through to the near-infrared range) can increase mitochondrial production of ATP which reduces blood glucose and improves health and lifespan in animals. 670 nm light shone selectively on to the backs of mice in previous studies has been shown to result in improvements in ATP that improve symptoms in both a model of Parkinson's disease and a model of diabetic retinopathy.

To explore the impact of 670 nm red light on blood glucose, 30 healthy participants were randomised into two groups: 15 in the 670 nm red light group, and 15 in the placebo (no light) group. They had no known metabolic conditions and were not taking medication. Participants were then asked to do an oral glucose tolerance test and record their blood glucose levels every 15 minutes over the next two hours. People who received red light exposure 45 minutes prior to drinking glucose exhibited a reduced peak blood glucose level and reduced total blood glucose during the two hours.

The study showed that light affects the way mitochondria functions, and this impacts our bodies at a cellular and physiological level. Our study has shown that we can use a single, 15-minute exposure  to red light to reduce blood sugar levels after eating. Sunlight has a balance between red and blue, but we now live in a world where blue light is dominant because although we do not see it, LED lights are dominant in blue and have almost no red in them.

This reduces mitochondrial function and ATP production. Long-term exposure to blue light is potentially toxic without red as it can cause blood glucose fluctuations that may in the long run contribute to Diabetes and undermine health spans.

Source: Journal of Biophotonics, 2024

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