Red LED Light Therapy for Weight Loss: An Evidence-Based Approach for Optimal Results

Looking for a smart way to shed those extra pounds without traditional weight loss methods? LED light therapy may be the answer. By increasing metabolic rate, improving blood flow, and targeting fat cells, LED light therapy has been scientifically proven to aid in weight loss. In this article, we’ll dive into the science behind LED light therapy for weight loss and how it can benefit you.

What is LED Light Therapy?

Light therapy is known by many names. The formal scientific name is photobiomodulation (previously known as LLLT). Other names include LED therapy, red light therapy, infrared light therapy, LED phototherapy, low level laser therapy, low level light therapy, laser therapy, cold laser, and more.

LED light therapy for weight loss is a simple and effective way to increase your metabolic rate, which helps you burn more calories. By stimulating the mitochondria in our cells with red and near-infrared light, LED therapy increases cellular energy and glucose oxidation. This results in a stronger metabolic rate that ultimately leads to fat loss in both muscle tissue and adipose tissue (fat). LED therapy can also improve blood flow by increasing nitric oxide molecules and carbon dioxide production from respiration, which provides essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen to fat tissues for burning off excess weight.

Although the use of LED Light therapy isn’t new, its use for weight loss and fat loss specifically is new, with most research being done in the last 20 years.

Bioenergetics

LED light therapy has been shown to have a significant impact on weight loss. By stimulating our mitochondria, the body’s power source, this therapy increases glucose oxidation and results in more ATP being produced. This leads to an increase in metabolic rate and ultimately fat loss. When applied to adipose tissue cells, LED light therapy for weight loss helps mitochondria burn through stored lipids faster, resulting in decreased white fat cell size and increased brown fat cell quantity for long term weight loss benefits. Additionally, the therapy improves blood flow which provides essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen that help with calorie burning.

Blood Flow

Improving blood flow is essential for efficient weight loss. Red and infrared light therapy has been shown to increase metabolic rate by stimulating the mitochondria, resulting in more glucose being burned efficiently. In addition, the therapy also improves blood flow in the area it is applied by removing nitric oxide molecules from respiratory enzymes and improving carbon dioxide production from respiration, providing essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen to cells. Improved blood flow also aids in toxin elimination from the body, making it an effective alternative method for shedding those extra pounds without hitting the gym.

How Does LED Light Therapy Help with Weight Loss?

LED light therapy helps with weight loss by increasing metabolic rate and improving blood flow. The mechanism behind the therapy is that it stimulates the mitochondria to increase glucose oxidation, resulting in more ATP being produced. This effect leads to a stronger metabolic rate and ultimately fat loss in muscle tissue as well as fat. In addition, red and infrared light also improve blood flow by removing nitric oxide molecules from respiratory enzymes and improving carbon dioxide production from respiration, which provides essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen to cells for better energy production.

Increased Metabolic Rate

Activation of Mitochondria through LED light therapy stimulates glucose oxidation, resulting in the release of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and an increase in cellular metabolism. This ultimately leads to a boosted metabolic rate, improving weight management and aiding fat loss. Additionally, LED light therapy improves blood flow in the area it is applied by removing nitric oxide molecules from respiratory enzymes and increasing carbon dioxide production from respiration. Improved blood flow provides essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen for better cell function, particularly those found within brown fat cells which burn more energy than white fat cells.

Improved Blood Flow

By using LED light therapy for weight loss, you can improve blood flow and promote a healthier metabolism. Red and infrared light wavelengths stimulate our cells to increase glucose oxidation, resulting in more cellular energy being produced. This means that your body will burn more calories efficiently while also experiencing an improvement in blood flow due to the vasodilatory effect of red light wavelengths. Improved blood flow means an increase in oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells as well as the removal of toxins from tissues. Overall, LED light therapy can help you shed pounds smartly by promoting a healthy metabolism and improving blood circulation throughout your body.

Types of Fat: White Fat vs Brown Fat

White fat cells store energy and are composed mostly of triglycerides, with few mitochondria. Red light therapy can help these mitochondria to use calories faster, leading to the consumption and burning of stored fat in white adipose tissue cells. In contrast, brown fat cells have more mitochondria and burn through calories at a faster rate through a process called thermogenesis. Increasing the quantity of mitochondria in brown adipose tissue is key for long-term weight loss as it burns more energy than white fat cells.

White Fat

White fat is a type of adipose tissue that stores calories in the body. Excessive amounts of white fat can lead to weight gain and obesity, which can increase the risk of various health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. However, LED light therapy has been shown to target and reduce white fat cells by stimulating mitochondria in these cells to burn through stored energy more efficiently.

Real-life success stories have shown how LED light therapy for weight loss can be an effective alternative to traditional methods. By increasing metabolic rate and improving blood flow in targeted areas, individuals have seen significant reductions in body fat percentage with continued use of red light therapy. Moreover, studies have demonstrated the long-term benefits of this treatment by promoting brown adipose tissue growth – leading to increases in calorie-burning capacity over time.

Brown Fat

Understanding the role that brown fat plays in our metabolism is crucial to achieving weight loss. Brown fat cells can burn through calories at a faster rate, turning fat into heat through thermogenesis. Increased exposure to LED light therapy has been shown to help increase brown fat and promote weight loss. However, for maximum results, incorporating other lifestyle changes such as exercise and healthy eating habits is also essential. By making these changes along with regular LED light therapy sessions, you can achieve your weight loss goals in a smart and sustainable way.

How Does LED Light Therapy Target Fat Cells?

LED light therapy can target fat cells by stimulating the mitochondria in our cells, which increases glucose oxidation and results in more ATP being produced. This increase in metabolic rate leads to a stronger cellular energy output, resulting in weight loss. Additionally, LED light therapy also improves blood flow and helps brown fat cells generate new mitochondria, causing them to burn more energy than white fat cells and leading to long-term weight loss benefits.

White Fat Cells

White fat cells are the primary type of fat storage in humans. They store energy and release hormones that regulate metabolism. However, excessive accumulation of white fat cells can lead to weight gain and obesity. LED light therapy has been shown to target these white fat cells by stimulating their mitochondria, which increases glucose oxidation and leads to more cellular energy being produced.

Here are some key points about white fat cells:

  • White adipose tissue (WAT) is made up mostly of triglycerides (fat), with few other components.
  • WAT stores calories as energy for later use.
  • Excessive accumulation of WAT can lead to weight gain and obesity.
  • LED light therapy stimulates the mitochondria in WAT, increasing glucose oxidation and resulting in more cellular energy being produced.
  • This process ultimately leads to a stronger metabolic rate and weight loss.
Brown Fat Cells

Brown fat cells are a type of adipose tissue that have more mitochondria and can burn through calories quickly, turning fat into heat. They help regulate body temperature in cold conditions and prevent weight gain in normal conditions. Brown fat cells are different from white fat cells which primarily store energy as triglycerides with few mitochondria.

New born babies and hibernating animals have higher levels of brown fat (referred to as ‘good fat’ by some). Overweight and obese adults have higher levels of white fat. Losing white fat (or changing white fat into brown) is the key to weight loss.

LED light therapy has been shown to stimulate brown fat cell activity for weight loss by increasing the quantity of mitochondria in adipocytes or fat cells, leading to increased thermogenesis and calorie burning. This effect is especially beneficial for individuals who have gone through repeated low-calorie diets or stress periods resulting in diminished metabolic rates.

LED Light Therapy:
  • More mitochondria than white fat cells
  • Burn calories quickly via thermogenesis
  • Help regulate body temperature and prevent weight gain
  • Stimulates brown fat cell activity for weight loss
  • Increases quantity of mitochondria in adipocytes/fat cells
  • Beneficial for those with diminished metabolic rates

Can light therapy turn white fat into brown fat?

In the short term

One of the key effects of red light therapy on cells is to increase the amount of energy produced. This has immediate benefits to metabolism and weight loss.

A light therapy session will boost energy production (and consumption) in both white and brown fat cells, burning away the fats.

In the long term

A longer term, and not so well known, effect of light therapy is something called mitochondriogenesis – the creation of new mitochondria (also known as mitochondrial biogenesis). Red light therapy creates a positive feedback cycle, whereby the increased energy production leads to more mitochondria, which further increases energy production, and so on.

It is possible that light therapy may help to transform white fat into brown, however more research is needed to see if this is the case.

Spot fat loss

So-called spot reduction fat loss (targeting one area you want to lose fat, such as abdomen, buttocks, thighs) or ‘ body sculpting or contouring’ is commonly viewed as a myth amongst most health and fitness experts.

Those who acknowledge it, consider the effect to be insignificant – in general, people tend to lose fat uniformly throughout their body, even if they focus on exercising one specific area (e.g. developing a six-pack requires not only doing daily core exercises, but also reducing overall body fat levels).

The use of red and infrared light has been found to have a vasodilatory and pro-metabolic impact, which presents a fresh method for reducing fats in particular regions of the body. This local boost in metabolism has been backed by research studies.

Locations of body fat that light therapy can target

Different kinds of fat tissues exist in the body, distinguished by the structure and location of the fat cells. The subsequent paragraphs present a rundown of the principal fat locations and their importance with regards to light therapy.

Abdominal fat / visceral fat

Abdominal and visceral fat are terms used for what most people would call belly fat. It is what gives the protruding ‘pot belly’ or ‘beer belly’ look and large waist size.

Getting rid of it is essential to having a flat stomach and also for health reasons – visceral fat is linked to many chronic diseases.

High levels of this abdominal belly fat are linked to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and more. You can read more about this here.

This type of fat is stored deep inside the body, surrounding the internal organs like the liver, intestines and kidneys.

How to lose belly fat with light therapy?

The challenge of light therapy lies in its ability to reach the innermost parts of the body. This requires the light to pass through various layers, including the skin, subcutaneous tissue, abdominal muscles and sometimes even organs such as the intestines.

Only a very small percentage of light applied to the skin will get down this far. Two key factors are required to ensure enough light can reach:

  1. A high light intensity – When you consider that only a small percentage of the light will reach the visceral fat tissue, applying light from a very strong device is the most essential factor. A light intensity of at least 100mW/cm2 is needed
  2. The most penetrative wavelength – Various wavelengths of light have varying levels of penetration. Near infrared light has the ability to penetrate more deeply compared to red, orange, yellow, and green light. Near infrared light, specifically between 730-840nm, has the greatest potential for penetration. This type of light is commonly referred to as the Near Infrared window as it can penetrate biological tissue with ease. Although some longer near infrared wavelengths around 1100nm also have good penetration capabilities, they do not have the desired metabolic effects on cells and are thus not suitable for light therapy.

Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous means ‘under the skin’ – the main place in our bodies where fat is stored. Read about subcutaneous fat in general here.

Subcutaneous fat, which encompasses fat in various areas of the body such as the legs, arms, buttocks, neck, chest, back, and face, accounts for approximately 90% of the body’s fat content. This also includes cellulite and commonly referred to as ‘muffin tops’ and ‘love handles’.

A good amount of belly fat is also subcutaneous – although it depends on the person. Subcutaneous fat can result in a softer, less toned appearance, while visceral fat, located deeper within the body, can lead to a protruding belly ‘pot belly’ and a harder, more solid feel because it pushes up against the abs.

Subcutaneous fat is typically not regarded as a significant health concern in contrast to visceral fat, but it is deemed unattractive and can obscure the visibility of the body’s muscular definition, veins, and structures, creating a smoother appearance.

How to lose subcutaneous fat with light therapy?

Since subcutaneous fat is located near the body’s surface, it can easily be reached by the wavelengths utilised in light therapy. The light must penetrate through the skin’s epidermis and dermis layers before it can reach the subcutaneous (or hypodermis) layer.

Penetration through the top layers of skin is achieved with a red or near infrared light of suitable intensity.

As subcutaneous fat is distributed over large areas of the body, using a light device that can emit suitable intensity/wavelength light, evenly, over that same large area is important.

The 2 essential factors when using a light therapy device for subcutaneous fat loss are:

  1. Moderate light intensity spread over a wide area causes the light intensity to decrease with distance from the source, but the area covered by the light increases. Maintaining a balance between the area and light intensity is crucial to achieve the desired results on subcutaneous fat. It is recommended to aim for a light intensity of 50mW/cm2 or higher to achieve the desired effects on subcutaneous fat.

A mixture of wavelengths is most effective in covering all depths evenly in the subcutaneous layer, which can vary in size depending on the amount and type of adipose tissue. Near-infrared light is more easily absorbed and can therefore affect the deeper layers of the hypodermis. Red light can penetrate the skin, but not as deeply as near-infrared light, making it ideal for targeting the fat cells directly beneath the dermis.

Subcutaneous fat exists all across the body. For those aiming to lose weight overall, a potent light therapy tool that encompasses red and near infrared wavelengths, such as the emit LEDS belt, can be effective for fat removal.

Cellulite

Cellulite refers to the uneven, bumpy texture of skin particularly noticeable in the bums and thighs. It is often referred to by various names such as ‘orange-peel skin’, ‘cottage cheese skin’ and ‘mattress phenomenon’. Both males and females, including babies, can experience this condition.

It is not considered a health risk or associated with any health conditions, but is considered by many to be unsightly.

Cellulite is graded by its severity, with grade 1 being mild cellulite, 2 being moderate and grade 3 being severe.

It occurs when the subcutaneous fat tissues push up against the lower layers of our skin, unevenly. So it is a sub-type of subcutaneous fat.

Does red light therapy help cellulite?

Red light therapy has been studied extensively to discover what effect it might have on the appearance of cellulite.

Given the effects that red and near infrared light have on spot fat loss, in addition to improving skin texture, light therapy seems an obvious choice to improve cellulite.

Most studies looking at the effects of red light on cellulite combined red light with near infrared. This approach gives a broader spectrum of light and provides even effects across a range of depth of tissue.

The red light provides structural health improvements in the epidermis and dermis parts of the skin, while some more of the red, and especially the near infrared, can penetrate more readily, to the subcutaneous layer, providing metabolic benefits there.

The results of most studies indicate a reduction in the ‘severity’ score of cellulite (so the cellulite changes from ‘moderate’ to ‘mild’, or ‘mild’ to no cellulite at all), but they also note the need for maintenance treatments.

Muscle gains

In addition to aiding weight loss, red light therapy can also help with muscle gain and body sculpting. It works by stimulating the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the muscle cells, which helps to increase muscle growth and recovery time.

ATP is the body’s main source of energy, and is produced by the mitochondria in our cells. Red and near infrared wavelengths of light have been shown to increase the activity of mitochondria, leading to higher ATP production. This increased energy production can help to improve muscle performance and endurance during exercise.

Red light therapy can also help to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the muscles, which can lead to quicker recovery time and reduced muscle soreness. This means that you can work out more frequently and with greater intensity, leading to faster muscle gains and improved body sculpting.

Studies have also shown that red light therapy can increase the levels of growth hormone in the body, which is essential for muscle growth and repair. Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and stimulates the production of new muscle cells, as well as helping to repair damaged muscle tissue.

Overall, red light therapy can be a valuable tool for those looking to increase muscle mass and improve body sculpting. By increasing ATP production, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and stimulating the production of growth hormone, red light therapy can help you to achieve your fitness goals more quickly and efficiently.

This is covered more in dept in our other blog.

Benefits of LED Light Therapy for Weight Loss

LED light therapy offers a safe and non-invasive option that requires no downtime. This method boosts the metabolic rate through increased glucose oxidation, leading to the production of more cellular energy. Additionally, it improves blood flow, which provides essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen to cells while assisting in burning off fat tissues. By targeting both white and brown fat cells, LED light therapy can help individuals achieve long-term weight loss goals by increasing the quantity of mitochondria in adipocytes which leads to more efficient lipid (fat) metabolism.

Safe and Non-Invasive

LED light therapy for weight loss is a safe and non-invasive procedure that does not cause harmful side effects or damage to the skin or tissues. This non-surgical treatment helps increase metabolic rate by stimulating mitochondria in our cells, resulting in more ATP production and glucose oxidation. In addition, red and infrared light also improves blood flow in the area it is applied, providing essential nutrients like glucose and oxygen to help burn off fat tissue. With regular use of LED light therapy, white fat cells shrink while brown fat cells increase in quantity, promoting long-term weight loss results without any downtime.

No Downtime

With LED light therapy, there is no downtime. You can return to your normal activities immediately after treatment, with no recovery time needed. This makes it convenient for those with busy schedules who don’t want to take time off from work or their daily routine. So you can shed pounds the smart way without disrupting your life.

Long-Term Weight Loss

LED light therapy targets stubborn fat cells that are difficult to lose through diet and exercise alone. It stimulates metabolism, leading to continued weight loss even after treatment is complete. Unlike other weight loss methods, there’s no need for ongoing treatments once desired weight loss is achieved, making LED light therapy a smart long-term solution for shedding those extra pounds.

Conclusion

In conclusion, LED light therapy is a promising alternative to traditional methods. By stimulating the body’s natural processes and targeting problem areas, this technology can help you shed pounds in a safe and effective way. While it may not work overnight, with consistent use over time it can lead to lasting results that will leave you feeling healthier and happier.

Please use it as part of your health regime with a good diet and exercise.

In summary, if you’re tired of trying fad diets or exhausting workout routines without seeing results, give LED light therapy a chance. It’s non-invasive, pain-free, and has been shown to be effective in clinical trials. So why not try shedding those pounds the smart way?

Red Light and Near Infrared Light Therapy

From Founder


Shifting those pounds can be very hard, especially when you get older. Why not try red light therapy to give you a little helping hand.
Eugene Emmanuel
Founder

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