Shining Red Light on a Person’s Back for 15 Minutes Can Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

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A research study highlights the capacity of 670 nm traffic signal to promote mitochondrial energy production and decrease blood sugar levels, providing an appealing non-invasive method for diabetes management. It likewise indicates the health threats of extended blue light direct exposure from LEDs, highlighting the requirement for a balance in between red and blue light to protect health.

Shining a particular frequency of traffic signal on an individual’s back for 15 minutes can decrease blood sugar level levels, according to a brand-new research study from City, University of London and UCL.

The scientists discovered that 670 nanometres (nm) of traffic signal promoted energy production within mitochondria, the small powerhouses within cells, resulting in increased usage of glucose. In specific, it caused a 27.7% decrease in blood sugar levels following glucose consumption, and it minimized optimum glucose spiking by 7.5%.

While the research study was performed in healthy people, the non-invasive, non-pharmacological method has the prospective to have an effect on diabetes control after meals, as it can decrease destructive changes of blood sugar in the body that add to aging.

Concerns About Blue Light Exposure

The research study likewise highlights the substantial long-lasting effects for human health, consisting of the prospective dysregulation of blood sugar level postured by prolonged direct exposure to blue light. Given the prominence of LED lighting and the truth that LEDs produce towards the blue end of the spectrum with extremely little red, the authors recommend that this might be a possible public health concern. The research study has actually been released in the Journal of Biophotonics

Mitochondria offer energy for crucial cellular procedures, utilizing oxygen and glucose to produce the energy-rich nucleoside adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Previous research study has actually developed that long-wavelength light in between around 650-900 nm (covering the noticeable through to the near-infrared variety) can increase mitochondrial production of ATP which minimizes blood sugar and likewise enhances health/lifespan in animals.

The authors Dr Michael Powner, Senior Lecturer in Neurobiology in the School of Health & & Psychological Sciences at City, and Professor Glen Jeffery, Professor of Neuroscience in the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, likewise state that this enhancement in ATP production can trigger signalling modifications that are sent throughout the body.

They recommend that it might be moderating the abscopal result, which describes the phenomenon in cancer treatment where particular irradiation of a main growth can lead to shrinking of secondary growths found in a various part of the body. Likewise, 670 nm light shone selectively on to the backs of mice in previous research studies has actually been revealed to lead to enhancements in ATP that enhance signs in both a design of Parkinson’s illness and a design of diabetic retinopathy.

The Study’s Approach and Findings

To check out the effect of 670 nm traffic signal on blood sugar, the scientists hired 30 healthy individuals, who were then randomized into 2 groups: 15 in the 670 nm red light group, and 15 in the placebo (no light) group. They had no recognized metabolic conditions and were not taking medication.

Participants were then asked to do an oral glucose tolerance test and tape-record their blood sugar levels every 15 minutes over the next 2 hours. People who got red light direct exposure 45 minutes prior to drinking glucose showed a decreased peak blood sugar level and minimized overall blood sugar throughout the 2 hours.

Dr Powner, who was the lead author of the research study, stated: “It is clear that light impacts the method mitochondria function and this affects our bodies at a cellular and physiological level. Our research study has actually revealed that we can utilize a single, 15- minute direct exposure to traffic signal to decrease blood sugar level levels after consuming.

“While this has actually just been performed in healthy people in this paper, it has the prospective to effect diabetes control moving forward, as it might assist to decrease possibly destructive glucose spikes in the body after meals.”

Professor Jeffery stated: “Sunlight has a balance in between red and blue, however we now reside in a world where blue light is dominant due to the fact that although we do not see it, LED lights are dominant in blue and have practically no red in them. This minimizes mitochondrial function and ATP production. Hence our internal environments are red-starved. Long- term direct exposure to blue light is possibly harmful without red. Blue light by itself effects terribly on physiology and can drive interrupted blood sugar level that might in the long run add to diabetes and weaken health periods.

“Pre-1990, all of us had incandescent lighting which was okay due to the fact that it had the balance of blue and red comparable to sunshine, however there is a possible health period time bomb in the modification to LEDs in an aging population. This can partially be remedied by investing more time in sunshine.”

Reference: “Light stimulation of mitochondria reduces blood glucose levels” by Michael B. Powner and Glen Jeffery, 20 February 2024, Journal of Biophotonics
DOI: 10.1002/ jbio.202300521

The research study was sponsored by Sight Research UK.