Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cells, and light wavelengths can influence them to conduct different cellular activities. Here we will discuss the effects of light therapy on mitochondria.
Depending on light wavelengths used in light therapy, mitochondria’s ATP production is influenced accordingly. Let’s explore this matter in detail.
Effects of Light Therapy on Mitochondria
The primary function of mitochondria is to generate ATP in cells to produce energy and help in the respiratory system.
Mitochondria convert nutrients into energy to enable almost any cellular activity. Any food a human being consumes needs to be converted into energy before the body can use any of them. Therefore, a human’s living is directly related to mitochondria’s performance.
As light falls on the body cells, water molecules get negatively charged and change the structure. This activates the cellular activities by activating mitochondrial functions.
In general, two types of light wavelengths are used for light therapy; blue light wavelengths and red light wavelengths. These two types of wavelengths work differently on mitochondria.
Laboratory studies have concluded that 400 – 480 nm blue light wavelength affects mitochondria to decrease ATP formation rate, simulate ROS, and cause cell death. This phenomenon can badly affect the blue light therapy users’ health, especially can cause damage to the eye. However, in some cases, this therapy may be used to reduce the abnormal growth of cancerous cells.
On the other hand, red light and near-infrared light wavelengths bring positive health effects when absorbed by mitochondria. Although the mechanism is still unknown, several studies have shown that in the presence of certain red light and near-infrared light wavelengths, mitochondria increase ATP production.
Why ATP Production is Important
ATP is an organic compound that gives body cells energy to perform a wide range of activities. It allows cells to repair the damage, replicate, and rejuvenate. From transporting nutrients from cell to cell to muscle contraction, ATP is directly responsible for them.
ATP energizes thousands of processes in the body, and these processes need ATP every second to even conduct the simplest body function. However, ATP cannot be stored in the body. Mitochondria produce ATP for immediate use and then get recycled.
Additionally, ATP is crucial for cellular respiration. Mitochondria produces ATP and other essential chemicals to recycle waste products harmful to the body.
Without ATP production, the body would not simply be alive.
Light Therapy and ATP
Blue Light Therapy
As mentioned earlier, different light wavelengths work differently on mitochondria. With blue light therapy, mitochondria reduce ATP production. Therefore, the cells start to die due to the lack of energy and cellular activities.
For this property, blue light therapy is often used to treat cancerous cells. In the skincare industry, blue light therapy is often used to target harmful bacteria and fungus. This therapy can be very helpful in reducing eczema, acne, rosacea, etc., skin symptoms.
Here, the harmful bacteria cells and damaged skin cells are killed to make room for newer and healthier skin cells. Thus, blue light therapy users can get better-looking skin without causing any severe damage to their skin.
Additionally, when skin cells are exposed to UVR, the body starts to generate vitamin D. Without enough vitamin D, the body suffers from the s
easonal affective disorder, bone mineralization, and poor metabolic functions.
Red Light Therapy
On the other hand, red light and near-infrared light wavelengths power up mitochondria’s ability to produce energy. Therefore, the users can have therapeutic benefits from the cellular level.
With red light and NIR therapy, the mitochondria in the body generate more energy in the form of ATP. With this additional Energy, the body cells start to repair themselves and replicate healthy growth.
As a result, users will feel more refreshed after a red light therapy session. They can effectively get rid of any pain in their muscles and joints as red light and near-infrared light instantly starts to repair damage in the area
Moreover, near-infrared light wavelengths can penetrate deeper into the body due to having a higher wavelength. Thus, several hormonal glands that went under damage can get repaired and produce those necessary hormones.
For example, studies have shown that men over 40 years old using red light therapy have experienced higher testosterone levels than those who don’t use the therapy. Some studies have also shown that red light therapy can help diabetes patients with their insulin levels.
Light therapy and mitochondria are directly related to giving several health benefits to the users. Depending on the light wavelength, mitochondria can produce less and more energy in the body to give targeted health benefits.
Many manufacturers are now marketing light therapy devices. However, without the appropriate light wavelengths, these devices will not give any health benefits. So, make sure to consult a doctor or professional for recommendations.
Make sure to get the best light therapy devices for ultimate health benefits.