Photobiomodulation Devices and Research

Here’s a video on the benefits of IR/NIR:

Discussion on possible mechanism here:


I’ve listened to his other podcasts on red/near infrared light and took comfort in the fact that near-infrared passes through clothing and sunscreen, but what I somehow missed (until listening to today’s podcast) was that it DOESN’T penetrate clouds (!!!) because it’s blocked by water vapor. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I definitely need an effective artificial red/near-infrared solution.


It occurs to me to wonder if it helps the mitochondria because it can be absorbed by water – that is, maybe some of the electrons in the water jump to a higher orbital & the mitochondria are able to capture some of the energy when the electrons fall back down.

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AIUI it excites the copper in cytochrome c oxidase (complex IV)


Happy to know I haven’t been wasting my time using my Platinum LED device every day for four years now!


Yes, I pair my red light therapy with a naturally occuring peptide (GHK-CU) that I both inject and take intranasally as a personal concoction with oxytocin. Three sprays a day and I’m off to the races :slight_smile:

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There appears to be evidence that IR light affects water viscosity which affect Mitochondrial production. It’s at least not my own personal crazy idea. :grinning:

experimental work that combined nanoindentation and 670 nm laser irradiation to modulate viscosities of interfacial water supports the proposal that lower viscosity in mitochondria is the real driver behind photobiomodulation propelling enhanced ATP synthesis

IJMS | Free Full-Text | Light, Water, and Melatonin: The Synergistic Regulation of Phase Separation in Dementia.


This is actuallly pretty obvious if you think of the fact that infrared light heats the skin and clouds block most of the heat from the sun making it almost as cold as being in a shadow. If you feel heat from the sun, you’re getting infrared light on your body.

That’s not how ATP generation in the mitochondria works. AFAIK infrared light does not have enough energy to cause electrons in water to jump up to a higher orbital. When infrared light gets absorbed by water it results in stretching of the O-H bonds, which causes vibration of the water molecules thereby heating the water. Red/NIR light can increase ATP production in cells, but the mechanism of action is different.

Yes. The main theories on how it increases ATP production are based on this. However, some studies show that this might not be the reason for the increased ATP production. The reason may be changes in interfacial water viscosity in mitochondria, a mechanism Elizabeth mentioned. Apparently the reduced viscosity around ATP synthase might allow it to rotate more easily, which in turn would speed up ATP production. Whatever the mechanism, the evidence that red/NIR light can increase APT production is pretty strong.

AIUI the idea is that it stimulates autophagy through Cytochrome C Oxidase

Finally, the expression profile LC3-II, Beclin-1 and p62 suggested that FIR prevent the autophagy inhibiting effects observed in ataxin-3-78Q expressing cells. In summary, our results suggest that FIR have rescuing effects in cells expressing mutated pathogenic ataxin-3, through recovery of mitochondrial function and autophagy.

That’s interesting. I’ve never heard the potential connection with autophagy before. I have read tons of studies on red/NIR light and never saw any evidence that it increased autophagy in animals so I doubt it does that in animals in vivo. Note that this study you linked to used far infrared light not near infrared light. The wavelengths used in the study are a good bit longer than those used and found effective for photobiomodulation so this may not apply to shorter infrared light. Oddly I see no mention of the irradiance and dose they used in the study so it’s hard to determine whether this has any relevance to what might happen in vivo.

Quite a few search results come up. This seems to be the right wavelength.

I don’t see the relevance of this. This study is about light exposure to the eyes, not about red/NIR light. Of course the eyes will respond to various wavelengths of visible light because they have specific receptors to detect it. This will not apply to the rest of the cells in the body.

Initially i found this:

However, it does not give references to the original source data:

Different light wavelengths impact human skin in different ways. As per research, LED light-induced autophagy in hippocampal neuron cells. Moreover, red light therapy at 635 nm triggers lipolysis and oxidizes fact in subcutaneous adipose tissue. In another research, red LED wavelength 550-670 nm accelerates skin healing.

The autophagy process increases the cell turnover. This is the exact mechanism that rejuvenates the dermal layers. Moreover, autophagy prevents muscle loss that often comes with aging. Red LED therapy may rejuvenate skin, support cell turnover, and heal wounds.

Thanks for the condescending/patronizing response. Since plants and trees w/leaves reflect near-infrared light, it’s possible to sit in the shade on a sunny day and receive near-IR without necessarily feeling warm/hot, so I don’t know if the “warmth test” is always valid.

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My apologies. It was not meant in a patronizing way. I should perhaps have put emphasis on if in “if you think of the fact…”. Many people don’t think of the fact that infrared light heats the skin so they don’t think of that as a proxy for exposure.

Anyways, regarding your point on plants and tree leaves reflectinig near-infrared light, that’s an interesting fact. The dose of red/NIR light however would be much lower if you’re sitting in the shadow of a tree so I think the reason the heat test wouldn’t work well in that case is not because your skin doesn’t get heated, rather it’s because the dose you get of red/NIR light is so low that you won’t notice the small heating. While the leaves reflect red/NIR light, a lot of it will get reflected in other directions, not towards you. Think of holding a white cotton T-shirt against the sun between your face and the sun. Some of the visible light gets through but some will be reflected off the shirt in various directions. A lot of the reflected light will be reflected back towards the sun or in various other directions away from you, with only some of it reflfected directly towards you, so overall a lot less than half of the light actually ends up on your face. The reflection of red/NIR light off plants and leaves is not exactly the same as this, but I think it’s quite similar. The result is that you do get red/NIR exposure when sitting under the cover of plants and trees, but the portion that ends up reflecting onto you will be only a small percentage of what would end on you if no plants/trees were in the way. The warmth test kind of only works practically if the temperature increases enough for you to notice it.

This depends in part on how many leaves there are. If there is a lot of greenery all emitting some IR that will add up. I would think still less than direct sunlight, but not miniscule.

Yes it probably amounts to a good exposure, you just might need a few hours to get that dose.