Rapamycin and red light/NIR therapy

Any studies or input from any of you using rapa and also using red light therapy? If red/NIR helps cells with cellular regeneration and your taking rapamycin, you’d think it would amp up the way it works in the body? If anyone tries to explain this, keep it simple, I’m just starting my journey……week 5.


Hi @Babster and welcome to the forums. Interesting question. I’ve heard about red light therapy but have not researched it at all.

From what I can find - it seems likely that RLT would only be helpful to the surface of the skin, but not influence systemic or deeper tissues.

It sounds like the belief right now is that it affects the mitochondria, so a very different pathway than rapamycin (the cellular mTOR pathway).

The research does look interesting for the skin - but I wonder what people’s real experience with it is - how much is the effect? Is it worth it? Have you tried it?

If you check out anti- aging firewalls by longevity guru Vince Giuliano, he did a very comprehensive review of the benefits of photomodulation therapy. Look at the sections on longevity and you’ll see many of the benefits of rapamycin, but some additional ones as well.
When we think of synergies with rapamycin ,we generally think of other meds , but it could be other types of interventions employing different pathways.


This was totally the thought in my head but I did not possess the eloquence of saying it. I recently purchased the Platinum 900, way too early to give an assessment but I find the science fascinating, humans look at cures as pills or herbs or… but never light. It’s a bit unfortunate my Rapa and red light are happening at the same time. Now, I read all the science and comprehend about 50%. I typically choose on intuition even after I read the science. My gut leads the way.


You’re not just going by your gut. You’re reading, analyzing , and then using gut instinct as part of the decision making process. All of us do that to some degree I suspect.

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I have a red light panel that I use 4 X a week, and I also have a 15min NIR Sauna 4 X a week.

I can’t say I’ve noticed that much difference with my skin, but I’m not really taking photos or measuring progress.

I just use the LED panel at the same time as I do my morning meditation. Same deal with Sauna. Multitasking.

I’ve also been using a NIR/red light panel every day for 10 minutes the past 4.5 months. I bought a NIR/red light panel after reading some studies about the effects of NIR on mitochondrial melatonin synthesis. I’m not able to get a decent amount of NIR a good part of the year, and additionally I hoped the panel would affect my mood and circadian rhythm.

What confuses me is the available studies discussing the effects of NIR on mTORC1 - apparently potentially activating it. Studies are conflicting, and I’m guessing that if NIR does indeed activate mTORC1 this is hopefully a more localised effect in tissues rather than systemic. But the truth is that after reading through quite some studies, I’m still not sure at all.
I’m not using the panel for my skin and thus haven’t paid close attention to it, but I have also not noticed any changes in my skin besides a few small/light spots of hypopigmentation.

I’ve now read two anecdotal reports of younger seemingly healthy patients ending up with quite rare types of cancer after using a NIR/red light panel. They themselves and their treating specialists thought the light treatment, may have been the culprit. I don’t know at all what to make out of it and if there is anything to make out of it, but I think it is problematic that there is no regulatory oversight on these panels. (At least where I live there isn’t). A lot of manufacturers are promoting panels with increasingly high amounts of radiation and using the high power density of their panel as an argument to charge thousands for panels. Whereas it has been discussed in research how red light/NIR upregulates different MMP’s. As is the case with UVA/UVB-radiation: the dose can make the poison, I believe.

Two anecdotal reports from out of many thousands of users is not a compelling argument about the safety of NIR/IR red light therapy.

Red light therapy has been around for many years and has a good track record of safety.

“A Preliminary Study of the Safety of Red Light Phototherapy of Tissues Harboring Cancer”

“Conclusions: This experiment suggests that LLLT at these parameters may be safe even when malignant lesions are present.”

“Red Light Phototherapy Using Light-Emitting Diodes Inhibits Melanoma Proliferation and Alters Tumor Microenvironments.”


As I also stated in my post: I don’t know if anything can be made out of that at all. But in combination with the fact that we don’t know a thing about using NIR body panels of such power density and studies about the upregulation of different MMP’s, it is sufficient information for me personally to remain cautious and not use high amounts of NIR/red light. As well as to take a critical stance when it comes to the suggestion of companies that sell these panels, that irradiating your body with increasingly high amounts of mw/cm3 of NIR/red light would be ideal. (Which means companies selling these panels generally recommend combining several panels, and buying their expensive panels since they have the highest power density, and which thus means these companies generate more $$, while there are no studies that show the effects of using full body panels with such a power density).

We don’t have studies with these body panels - that use an increasingly high amount of radiation per mw/cm3. The studies that we do have, have predominantly been in vitro studies, rodent studies, or with laser that is in direct contact with the skin in a localised anatomical area. If you look through decades of research, this will become apparent. Photobiomodulation was for decades known as “low level laser therapy”.

So yes, I do use a panel myself also. But in terms of radiation in mw/cm3 I try to stay close to the amounts that I would get if I were to go outdoors for roughly half an hour in the morning on a summer day. It is very much guesswork at this stage, but personally I want to remain cautious until we do have independent research about the use of these body panels with such parameters. But of course, that is my personal approach and I may be overly cautious.
In a way upregulation of different MMP’s should also not be surprising. After all UVA/UVB radiation has similar effects, in addition it also results in mTOR-activation in epidermal cells. Combined with the fact that a positive research bias is so common, I’m not yet convinced.

" Human skin is exposed to infrared radiation (IR) from natural and artificial sources. In previous studies, near IR radiation (IRA; 760–1,440 nm) was shown to elicit a retrograde mitochondrial signaling response leading to induction of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression. These studies, however, have exclusively employed cultured human skin fibroblasts ex vivo. Here, we have assessed the in vivo relevance of these observations by exposing healthy human skin in vivo to physiologically relevant doses of IRA. Eighty percent of the tested individuals responded to IRA radiation by upregulating of MMP-1 expression. Specifically, IRA irradiation caused increased expression of MMP-1 in the dermis, but not in the epidermis. Raman spectroscopyrevealed that IRA radiation also caused a significant decrease in the antioxidant content of human skin."


I have a NIR Sauna and use it 15 mins 4 X week. Just enough time for me to do a meditation at the same time.

The other days I use my red light panel (which I originally bought purely for vanity) for about 15 minutes.

Can’t say it’s made me look any younger but hey, I bought it so I’m gonna use it!


I like the idea to combine your NIR Sauna with meditation - and relaxation. I do some stretching exercises during the 10 minutes each morning that I use my panel and meanwhile try to expose different sides of my body to the light.
I can’t say it has made me look any younger either Basil :grin:. I’m quite sure it hasn’t.

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Yeah, bummer hey?

Of course it’s impossible to tell unless you take photos along the way - and there’s no way I’m doing that! :laughing:

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Haha, no way indeed, I’d like to keep the illusion alive :sweat_smile:

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Of course, being cautious about trying new things is good, but your reference is comparing apples to oranges.
The spectrum of the Hydrosun 500 is not comparable to the spectrum of LED red light therapy panels and is produced in a completely different way. The study as I see it, says high exposure to sunlight minus the UV and visible wavelengths can produce damage to the skin.
The power level and length of exposure are higher than you will probably experience from your LED light panels.


The claims in this study are in line with other studies that indicate that infrared light in certain doses upregulates different MMP’s. I could have cited another study, but they are not difficult to find.
Indeed: the shorter wavelengths IR-A will have different effects. But studies suggest that exposure to not only IR-B, but also IR-A induces expression of different MMP’s. It seems your suggestion is that if one exposes him-/herself solely to specific wavelengths of IR-A, this induction of MMP-expression all of a sudden would not be present?

It is known hat UV-radiation and visible light (VL) upregulate different MMP’s. Studies have also shown that heat shock can induce the expression of MMP’s. IR light of course generates and conducts heat; the amount of which will vary depending on many factors, such as wavelength, and the effects will obviously also depend on power density and distance of the source, etc. Still, with all this knowledge we do have, personally I don’t understand how one would all of a sudden conclude that a LED-panel that irradiates a lot of (specific wavelengths of) IR-A light would not provoke any such response. Do you feel we can conclude this because the studies with these panels are still lacking?

Joovv claims their newest panels have a power density of >100mw/cm2. (Of course if you keep more distance from the panel you’d expose yourself to less radiation - which is why I’m stating that may be a good idea. But imho: you’d rather buy a panel with a lower power density in the first place for a fraction of the price).
The leds of Joovv’s panels are within the lower end of the IR-A spectrum, as are the leds of most commercially sold panels. But if one were to follow Joovv’s recommendations you’d get a lot higher amount of IR-A than you’d get if you go outdoors on a sunny day, even around the equator. Indeed, as mentioned: the studies with these panels are lacking and I doubt we will see any independent research anytime soon. Research with regard to the effects of IR-A is also conflicting. But given the information we do have and the information that is lacking, I personally think caution is warranted until we hopefully know more.

“Skin exposure to infrared (IR) radiation should be limited in terms of irradiance, exposure time and frequency in order to avoid acute or chronic damage. Recommendations aimed at protecting humans from the risks of skin exposure to IR (e.g. ICNIRP, ACGIH) are only defined in terms of acute effects (e.g. heat pain and cardiovascular collapse), whereas the actual exposure conditions (e.g. spectral distribution, exposure geometry, frequency and number of exposures, thermal exchange with the environment, metabolic energy production and regulatory responses) are not taken into consideration. Since the IR component of solar radiation reaching the Earth’s surface is mainly IR-A, and considering the increased use of devices emitting artificially generated IR-A radiation, this radiation band is of special interest. A number of in vitro and/or in vivo investigations assessing cellular or tissue damage caused by IR-A radiation have been undertaken. While such studies are necessary for the development of safety recommendations, the results of measurements undertaken to examine the interaction between skin and IR radiation emitted from different sources presented in this study, together with the detailed examination of the literature reveals a wide spectrum of contradictory findings, which in some instances may be related to methodological shortcomings or fundamental errors in the application of physical and photobiological laws, thus highlighting the need for physically and photobiologically appropriate experiments.”

“For many years skin aging has primarily been attributed to the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. More recently it has become evident that other parts of solar radiation, especially infrared A (IR-A) 760-1440 nm and infrared B (IR-B) 1440-3000 nm, induce significant free radicals in the dermis and up-regulate matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) that degrade collagen fibers. This suggests that IR radiation may be damaging to the skin barrier and compromise its function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of IR radiation on skin physiology, specifically, evaluating changes in skin barrier function, inflammatory response, and levels of extracellular matrix proteins. Human reconstructed MatTek skin models were exposed to physiologically relevant doses of IR radiation, after which changes in barrier function were assessed by measuring transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER), transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and penetration of a fluorescein fluorescent marker through skin models; inflammatory response and ECM proteins were measured using ELISA assays for IL-1α, MMP-9, and procollagen production. Results showed that exposure of skin models to physiological doses of IR resulted in (1) reduced barrier properties of skin, as shown by significant reductions in TEER (p<0.01) and increases in TEWL (p<0.01) and fluorescein penetration (p<0.01) at higher IR doses, (2) significant reduction in procollagen production (p<0.01) and increases in MMP-9 production, and (3) increases in skin inflammatory response, indicated by significantly greater IL-1α levels (p<0.05). In addition to elucidating the harmful effects of IR irradiation on skin barrier function, the techniques presented here provide useful methods that can be extended beyond the scope of this study to evaluate ways of protecting skin from the damage caused by exposure to IR.”

“Sunlight damages human skin, resulting in a wrinkled appearance. Since natural sunlight is polychromatic, its ultimate effects on the human skin are the result of not only the action of each wavelength separately, but also interactions among the many wavelengths, including UV, visible light, and infrared (IR). In direct sunlight, the temperature of human skin rises to about 40°C following the conversion of absorbed IR into heat. So far, our knowledge of the effects of IR radiation or heat on skin aging is limited. Recent work demonstrates that IR and heat exposure each induces cutaneous angiogenesis and inflammatory cellular infiltration, disrupts the dermal extracellular matrix by inducing matrix metalloproteinases, and alters dermal structural proteins, thereby adding to premature skin aging. This review provides a summary of current research on the effects of IR radiation and heat on aging in human skin in vivo .”

" Although many studies have been performed to elucidate the molecular consequences of ultraviolet irradiation, little is known about the effect of infrared radiation on skin aging. In addition to photons, heat is likely to be generated as a consequence of infrared irradiation, and heat shock is widely considered to be an environmental stress. Here we investigated the effect of heat shock on the expressions of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, MMP-2, and MMP-3 in cultured human skin fibroblasts. Heat shock induced the expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3, but not MMP-2, at the mRNA and protein levels in a temperature-dependent manner, and caused the rapid activation of three distinct mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK), extracelluar signal-regulated kinase (ERK), c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), and p38 MAPK. The heat shock-induced MMP-1 and MMP-3 expression was suppressed by the inhibition of ERK and JNK but not by p38 MAPK inhibition. Furthermore, heat shock increased the synthesis and release of interleukin-6 (IL-6) into culture media. The specific inhibition of IL-6 using a monoclonal antibody against IL-6 greatly reduced the expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 induced by heat shock. Taken together, our results suggest that ERK and JNK play an important role in the induction of MMP-1 and MMP-3 by heat shock and that the heat shock-induced expression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 is mediated via an IL-6-dependent autocrine mechanism."

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On another note, I’m aware of the very select few trials that suggest NIR (and red light) could increase collagen synthesis, albeit it has been a while since I looked at them. Out of the top of my head these were small trials, and I remember at least one of these trials was sponsored by a company that manufactures light panels and lamps.

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Love my platinum 900s been using for 18 months. My skin and hair are phenomenal,
Also helping my bad knee where I have osteartrits lots of metal plates and screws from my tibia plateau repair.

Do you happen to have any ‘before-after’-images?
In line with what the other member (Basil) also commented: I have not seen any changes in skin/hair after using a panel 10 minutes per day for 7+ months. I’ve also not seen changes in some localised inflammatory issues.

Having said that: I did not buy the panel in the hope it would affect my skin quality. Since as far as I’m aware there are only two very small trials that claim NIR/RED-light can improve skin/collagen quality. One of these two studies was sponsored by a manufacturer of these lamps. I haven’t looked into the other study for a while but it may very well be sponsored also. No convincing research with that regard imho and as I discussed above: in fact plenty of research points out (N)IR upregulates different MMP’s.
On the other hand there are many studies pointing out a wide range of other potential health benefits of NIR, among others when it comes to secretion of mitochondrial melatonin. Which was the reason I bought a panel.

Sorry I don’t have the best photos, I will still try to send you some when I can’t figure out how to attach them from my iPad.

I have been using the platinum 900x2 panels 6 feet x 1 foot roughly 3 x a week 20 minutes, I turn several different ways. Been doing it almost 1 1/2 years.

My dark Spots definitely diminished, my skin does not seem to burn in the FL sun with no sunscreen. I don’t use moisturizer anywhere but my face. Eyebrows definitely growing in although they are kind of think and dark so it might not be a good thing.

Added bonus my post menopause dryness issues seem improved!

Wrinkles not much improvement, eye bags not much improvement. Definitely hasn’t helped with fat loss or sleep. My knee which has all kinds of metal in it is working really well but I am also doing PT and getting Synv- visc injections.so who knows if they are all working together.

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Thanks so much for your post, Patty. I’m glad to hear it is working so well for you!
I’m using the panel 10 minutes per day, also from different sides. My experience is a bit difference than yours it seems: the past months I developed some light freckles/small spots of hypopigmentation on my nose/face of which I have wondered if they may be the result of the panel. As I haven’t been in the sun and didn’t have freckles priorly.