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Red light therapy may help lower blood sugar levels

by Corrie Pelc
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New research shows that red light therapy may lower blood sugar levels and help people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition.Collaboration Media/Getty Images
  • Type 2 diabetes is manageable and may be reversed with medication and lifestyle changes.
  • A new study found that red light therapy lowered blood sugar levels in healthy participants.
  • Study authors suggest that red light therapy may help people with type 2 diabetes manage their condition.

As of 2021, approx. 537 million people There are 643 million people with diabetes around the world, and the number is expected to increase to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.

The majority of diabetes diagnoses include: 90to % 95% — I have type 2 diabetes.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, which is an autoimmune disease, type 2 diabetes is manageable and may be reversible with medications and lifestyle changes that help manage blood sugar levels.

New research recently published Biophotonics Journal Suggestions are that red light therapy may help manage blood sugar levels.

Although the study was carried out in people without diabetes, researchers at City University of London believe the treatment may also be useful for people with diabetes.

Red light therapy uses low wavelength red or near-infrared light that is directed at specific areas of the body using a laser or other device.

Red light passes through the skin and has a positive effect on the skin. mitochondria It helps produce more energy within the body’s cells, allowing them to function better and repair themselves.

Co-lead author of the study Dr. Michael PownerThe senior lecturer in neurobiology at City University London’s School of Health and Psychological Sciences said he decided to look at red light therapy as a way to control blood sugar levels after reading a paper. Study from 2019 This highlights that sunlight exposure can be correlated with improved glucose metabolism.

“We investigated this bumblebee “We then found that red light lowered systemic blood sugar levels after eating,” Dr. Powner said. Today’s medical news. “This latest study clearly shows that this translates to humans.”

“Red light is absorbed by the mitochondria and helps them produce more energy,” he explained.

“It lubricates the energy-producing machinery. But producing more energy in this way requires more raw materials, and this is primarily glucose. They extract this from the blood. ”

For the study, researchers recruited 30 healthy participants who had no known metabolic diseases and were not taking any medications at the time.

Half of the group received a 15-minute 670 nm red light treatment 45 minutes before drinking 75 grams of sugar diluted in 150 mL of water. The other half of the group also consumed sugary drinks but did not receive red light therapy.

All study participants were also asked to: Oral glucose tolerance test Record your blood sugar levels every 15 minutes for the next 2 hours.

In the analysis, the scientists found that participants who received red light therapy had lower peak blood sugar levels and lower two-hour total blood sugar levels compared to participants who did not receive light therapy. Did.

“It is clear that light affects mitochondrial function, and this affects our bodies at a cellular and physiological level,” Dr. Powner said. “Our study found that just 15 minutes of exposure to red light can lower postprandial blood sugar levels.”

“Although this is only done in healthy people in this paper, it may have implications for future diabetes management as it may help reduce potentially harmful glucose spikes in the body after meals. It’s possible,” he added.

Red light therapy is most commonly used as a skin treatment to reduce symptoms. Wrinkle, stain, scarand stretch marks.

It is also used as a treatment for skin diseases such as. psoriasis, rosacea-like dermatitis, acneand eczema.

Over the past few years, scientists have also begun to look at red light therapy as a potential treatment for other conditions, such as:

Past research has also shown that red light therapy may help reduce symptoms. cancer treatment Side effects.

The study’s researchers also found that while sunlight contains a mix of red and blue light, people are exposed to nearly all blue light, primarily emitted by LEDs, including computer and smartphone screens. said.

Previous studies have shown that long-term exposure to blue light can have negative effects on the body’s natural state. circadian rhythmcause sleep problems.

Other studies have linked too much blue light exposure to an increased risk of conditions such as:

Dr. Powner said, “Exposing yourself to sunlight outdoors is helpful, but ultimately we need to reduce our current reliance on LEDs.” “Old incandescent lights had a lot of red in them.”

MNT I also talked to Dr. Jennifer ChenChief of Endocrinology, Hackensack Meridian Jersey Shore University Medical Center, New Jersey, about this study.

Dr. Chen said that while he thought the study was interesting, it was a small study with few participants.

“Additional studies need to be done to see if patients with abnormal glucose metabolism are affected by light in these ranges and to see if these research studies can be replicated on a larger scale. “There are many variables in the participants in this study that were not taken into account, such as BMI and obesity level,” Dr. Chen said.

“It will be interesting to see if this can be replicated and if a certain amount of sunlight is needed to maintain blood sugar control.”. We always encourage our patients to get outside and exercise. “This is another reason to encourage outdoor activities, but we don’t yet know if the research can be validated,” Dr. Chen added.

Dr. Chen said it’s important for researchers to continue to look for new ways to maintain blood sugar control and support people with diabetes.

“There are millions of people in the United States with diabetes, many of whom are undiagnosed, creating a significant economic burden. Over $400 billion “The proportion of health care costs attributable to people diagnosed with diabetes,” she explained. “Medical professionals are always looking for ways to help patients with diabetes and inexpensive ways to lessen the impact of blood sugar control.”

— Dr. Jennifer Chen, Endocrinologist

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