Red Light, Fat Loss, and Health. Legit or Scam?Jul 08, 2023
Want to boost brain, energy, metabolism, and mood?
OK, then get up early.
Not just a little early. I mean wake up when it’s still dark out, in the moments just before sunrise.
Then stand outside naked and wait.
You’re slowly bathed in red-hued radiance, absorbing light energy that comes directly from the center of the solar system, directly from the natural heavens, directly from the sun.
I know. You’ve heard bad things about the sun. Sure, it illuminates the world and makes plants grow, but what about all the stories of sunburn and skin cancer?
Let’s begin by recognizing that the sun radiates a whole lot of electromagnetic energy and sunlight can be divided into three primary types, infrared, visible, and ultraviolet (we can include Gamma Rays and other invisible photo-energies, but for our purposes, lets' stick to the three).
When we consider "three different types" of sunlight, we begin to see a distinction, and with that distinction comes the knee-jerk response that makes sunscreen a multi-billion dollar industry.
UV is bad.
Ummm, still not that simple. Ultraviolet light provides us with Vitamin D, so to categorize it as ‘bad” would be a mistake, but for the purpose of this article, let's recognize UV as the potential hazard and putting it to the side, we'll focus on red light, including visible red light and infrared (unseen by the naked human eye).
Red light is good. Very good. For many reasons, and at sunrise, the spectrum of sunlight spanning the frequencies between visible red light and far infrared are readily available. In fact, while staring at the sun is rarely a good idea, Eastern Ancients referred to the practice of “viewing first light” as sungazing, and today science abounds with evidence supporting this practice as healing wisdom.
So, if you want to realign your Circadian Rhythm, improve neurotransmission and mood, support the integrity of the mitochondria, and even improve eyesight, consider waking up super-early and spending 4-5 minutes “sungazing” at Sunrise, and if you want added benefit to skin and bodily systems, do it naked.
If, for any reason, crack-of-dawn naked sungazing on your front porch or backyard is unrealistic, impractical, or illegal . . . there’s an alternative.
Red Light Therapy (RLT).
When science finds its way into the mainstream, and a “product” finds a significant demand in a consumer market place, it’s inevitable that misinformation spills throughout that marketplace.
Kim and Kate "Do It" So We Should Too?
“Celebrity Secrets” are a strong marketing hook for sellers of lesser products to capitalize on what they present as “the inside scoop,” so when reports of Kate Hudson, Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Emma Stone “relying” on red light therapy sneak into social media posts, the floodgates open.
I’ve seen ads and promotions that promise that Red Light Therapy “melts fat,” “eliminates pain,” “erases wrinkles,” and “cures Erectile Dysfunction.” Before you plop down a chunk of change for a red light treatment in the hope it will suck fat out of fat cells, restore youth to arthritic joints, transform you into a movie star, or make your thing spring as it did when you were 20 years old, take a breath, grab hold of some common sense, and then re-visit the virtues of red light without falling victim to hype and C.B.S. (Common Bull Shit, a wide-encompassing term I just made up but I think you get it).
With the impulse of “magical weight loss” or “instantaneous return to youth” reduced, we can now look at the science and the true benefit(s).
Let’s start with this.
Full spectrum photonic biostimulation (exposing skin cells to red light and infrared light in a given range of frequencies) has been demonstrated to play a role in:
- Fat Mobilization
- Metabolic Energy Enhancement
- Cellular Energy Production
- “Tightening” of the skin
- Healthy Neurotransmission (mood)
- Mitochondrial Efficiency
- Enhanced Circulation
- Reduction in Inflammation
- Tissue Repair
- Metabolic Recovery
- Hypertensive Relief (Nitric Oxide Release)
The exaggeration of “what the science reveals” is common when research is used to pump up marketing messaging. Put aside the idea that red light “does” anything at all in and of itself, and realize that the human body is a multifactorial reflection of emotion, environment, stress, recovery, and nutrition.
Nothing “works” in and of itself. Red light included.
Go back and read the bullet points above. Every single one of them is backed by a scientific body of evidence. Just realize I prefaced the bullet points with the words, “demonstrated to play a role in.”
Let’s look at one example.
A highly credible peer-reviewed study published in The Surgery and Medicine Journal put out by the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, set out to determine whether red light therapy would contribute to the known benefits of exercise in a sampling of humans who had progressed along the “disease continuum” and were categorized as obese.
64 women were divided into two groups. All of them participated in a structured exercise program, 32 of them were exposed to red and infra-red light, the other half exposed to “fake” red light. The outcomes were indisputable. Those who used red light lost significantly more fat (the placebo group lost a negligible amount) and the red light group also increase lean body mass resulting in metabolic increase.
Here's the conclusion from the published study:
Our results demonstrated that phototherapy enhances the physical exercise effects in obese women undergoing weight loss treatment promoting significant changes in metabolic inflexibility profile.
Whether or not you’re an obese woman, the study outcome is significant. Add viable red light therapy to a sound and solid exercise routine and “reduce metabolic inflexibility.” I refer to “metabolic inflexibility” as Weight Loss Resistance.
Bottom Line: When you integrate a number of sound and proven strategies, red light significantly enhances the impact upon metabolism and the volume of fat mobilized and burned.
Sene-Fiorese M, Duarte FO, et al. The potential of phototherapy to reduce body fat, insulin resistance and "metabolic inflexibility" related to obesity in women undergoing weight loss treatment. Lasers Surg Med. 2015 Oct;47(8):634-42. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22395. Epub 2015 Jul 29. PMID: 26220050.
Here’s an important caveat from the above-referenced study. Adiponectin concentration was MORE THAN DOUBLED in the red light group. This makes red light as a part of an integrative strategy a documented game-changer.
Check this out:
- Adiponectin is a protein hormone involved in regulating glucose levels as well as in stimulation of fatty acid breakdown. In humans it is produced primarily in adipose tissue, but also in muscle, and even in the brain.
- Research has demonstrated increases in adiponectin correlating with elevations in Metabolic Rate changes and in cases of hyperglycemia due to insulin resistance, improvement and relative increases in insulin efficiency.
I can pull studies from NASA indicating red light combined with healthy environmental factors dramatically speeds wound healing, from the National Institutes of Health evidencing increases in mitochondrial efficiency and ATP production (energy), and a myriad of studies demonstrating RLT’s positive impact on mood and neurotransmission, many of the studies clearly indicating its anti-depressant properties.
I’ll list a few such references below:
Whelan HT, Smits RL Jr, et al. Effect of NASA light-emitting diode irradiation on wound healing. J Clin Laser Med Surg. 2001 Dec;19(6):305-14. .
Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2013 Mar;32(1):41-52.
Schiffer F, Johnston AL, et al. Psychological benefits 2 and 4 weeks after a single treatment with near infrared light to the forehead: a pilot study of 10 patients with major depression and anxiety. Behav Brain Funct. 2009 Dec 8;5:46.
SHOULD YOU USE RED LIGHT THERAPY FOR WEIGHT LOSS AND DISEASE REVERSAL?
I and my colleagues opened a uniquely powerful facility in Boca Raton, Infinite Impact, where we prove the virtues of Red Light Therapy as an integrative element in highly effective metabolic restoration and disease reversal programs. Just don’t be fooled by promises of “red light” solving your problem. Just as sunlight is vital to overall health (mental and physical), it must be integrated into a multifactorial program such as “The Metabolic Reboot.”
Let me leave you with two points.
1. If Kim Kardashian and her peers are reveling in the benefit of red light, know that these high profile celebs have trainers, nutritionists, estheticians, and body artists at their beck and call. Rather than believing "Red Light made them Beautiful," recognize that they have all added RLT into their arsenal. It "works" for them, just as it will "work' for you, as part of a multi-factorial science-based program.
2. If you've struggled with metabolic compromise, chronic disease, or weight loss resistance, let's schedule a consultation to determine how this amazing therapy can work for you.