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How photobiomodulation therapy improves metabolism

2019-07-26

What is photobiomodulation?


Photobiomodulation therapy (also known as PBM or PBMT) is a treatment that uses low-power lasers, light-emitting diodes or other light sources to emit red light directly into the body. It can't feel (although it doesn't generate any heat due to the flaming glow), so it doesn't cause any discomfort. Photobiomodulation is also known as red light therapy, low level light therapy (LLLT), Low Level Laser Therapy, biostimulation, photon stimulation or light box therapy.


Studies have shown that light at different frequencies has different biological effects. Although nothing may be felt, these specific wavelengths of red light penetrate the cells and produce positive changes in the body. (The most efficient red wavelength range is 630 to 670 nm and 810 to 880 nm.)


How does red light therapy work?


These specific wavelengths of red light produce biochemical effects in our cells to increase mitochondrial function. This improves the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in vivo.

Why is this important?

ATP is the source of energy for every cell in the body. Without it, we simply don't work. Not enough, we are not working well.

It has a wavelength range of 630-880 nm and is used to treat skin surfaces. Red therapy light penetrates the skin about 8-10 mm. Depending on which part of the body uses red light, it can easily affect all skin layers, into blood vessels, lymphatic pathways, nerves and hair follicles.


Cellular energy production
All organisms need to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or cellular energy. ATP is the source of energy for every cell in the body. Without it, we can't work.

When cells are healthy and happy, ATP is produced by:

During cellular respiration, the enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase (CCO), helps oxygen bind to NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and hydrogen).
This produces ATP synthase (required for ATP production).
ATP synthase converts proton energy to ATP.


When cells are unhealthy and happy (due to illness, stress, etc.), the following happens:

The stressed cells produce nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide competes with oxygen and binds to CCO.
ATP synthase cannot be produced without NADH and oxygen.
ATP cannot be produced without ATP synthase.
In other words, stress makes cellular energy production difficult, if not impossible.


How light biomodulation affects cellular energy?

One way to ensure that we have happy cells to produce enough ATP is to absorb the photons in the red light into the skin.

Red light can penetrate the skin 8 to 10 mm, enough to affect the body at the cellular level. It then stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species, helping to send signals from the mitochondria to the nucleus.

Red light also destroys the binding of nitric oxide to CCO, which combines with oxygen to form ATP synthase.

Since photobiomodulation has an impact on mitochondrial health, any disease caused by mitochondrial dysfunction can theoretically help PBM. In fact, some experts believe that we believe that adrenal fatigue is actually mitochondrial dysfunction, so PBM may also contribute to this disease.

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