Home Blood Sugar Management Shining red light on a person’s back for 15 minutes lowers blood sugar levels

Shining red light on a person’s back for 15 minutes lowers blood sugar levels

by Colin Collins
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Research highlights the potential of 670 nm red light to stimulate mitochondrial energy production and lower blood sugar levels, providing a promising non-invasive technique for diabetes management. It also points out the health risks of prolonged exposure to blue light from LEDs and emphasizes that a balance of red and blue light is needed to maintain good health.

Shining a specific frequency of red light onto a person’s back for 15 minutes can lower blood sugar levels, according to new research from City, University of London and UCL.

Researchers found that 670 nanometer (nm) red light stimulates energy production in mitochondria, tiny power plants within cells, leading to increased consumption of glucose. Specifically, blood sugar levels after glucose ingestion decreased by 27.7%, and maximum glucose spikes decreased by 7.5%.

Although this study was conducted on healthy people, this non-invasive, non-pharmacological technique can reduce the harmful blood sugar fluctuations in the body that contribute to aging, so managing postprandial diabetes can be helpful. may affect.

Concerns about blue light exposure

The study also highlights significant long-term effects on human health, including potential blood sugar dysregulation caused by prolonged exposure to blue light. Given the prominence of LED lighting and the fact that LEDs emit toward the blue end of the spectrum, with very little red, the authors suggest that this could be a potential public health issue. doing. This research Biophotonics Journal.

Mitochondria use oxygen and glucose to produce the energy-rich nucleoside adenosine triphosphate (ATP), providing energy for important cellular processes. Previous studies have shown that long-wavelength light, around 650-900 nm (ranging from visible to near-infrared range), increases ATP production by mitochondria, lowers blood sugar levels, and improves health and longevity in animals. has been proven.

Authors Dr Michael Powner, Senior Lecturer in Neurobiology, School of Health and Psychological Sciences, City University, and Professor Glenn Jeffrey, Professor of Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Eye Research, also suggest that this improvement in ATP production may trigger changes in signaling. It has said. It is transmitted throughout the body.

They suggest that this may mediate the abscopal effect. The abscopal effect refers to a phenomenon in cancer treatment in which specific radiation exposure to a primary tumor results in the shrinkage of secondary tumors in other parts of the body. Similarly, previous studies have shown that 670 nm light selectively applied to the backs of mice leads to improvements in ATP and ameliorates symptoms in both Parkinson’s disease and diabetic retinopathy models. Masu.

Research approach and results

To investigate the effects of 670 nm red light on blood sugar, researchers recruited 30 healthy participants and then randomly divided them into two groups: 15 participants in the 670 nm red light group; and 15 people in the placebo (no light) group. They had no known metabolic diseases and were not taking any medications.

Participants were then asked to perform an oral glucose tolerance test and record their blood sugar levels every 15 minutes over the next two hours. People who were exposed to red light 45 minutes before drinking glucose showed a 2-hour reduction in peak blood sugar levels and a reduction in total blood sugar levels.

Dr. Powner, lead author of the study, said: “It is clear that light affects mitochondrial function and that this affects our bodies at a cellular and physiological level. Our research shows that with just a single 15-minute exposure to red light, It has been shown that it can lower blood sugar levels after meals.

“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. There is a possibility.”

Professor Jeffrey said: “Sunlight maintains a balance of red and blue, which we cannot see, but LED lights are predominantly blue and contain very little red, so currently we We live in a world dominated by blue light. This reduces mitochondrial function and ATP production. Therefore, our internal environment is red-starved. Prolonged exposure to blue light causes red Without light, it can be toxic. Blue light itself has a negative effect on physiological functions, causing disturbances in blood sugar levels, which in the long term can lead to diabetes and damage your healthspan.

“Before 1990, we used incandescent lights, which was fine because they had a balance of blue and red similar to sunlight, but with an aging population, switching to LEDs , a ticking time bomb of health damage can occur, which can be partially corrected by spending more time in the sun.”

References: “Photostimulation of Mitochondria Lowers Blood Sugar Levels,” Michael B. Powner and Glen Jeffery, February 20, 2024. Biophotonics Journal.
DOI: 10.1002/jbio.202300521

This research was sponsored by Sight Research UK.

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