If there was a pill that could reverse aging, improve skin, increase energy, supercharge testosterone and libido, decrease inflammation, and help put depression into remission it would be a multi trillion dollar drug.
That drug exists…
But it’s not a pill.
It’s red and infrared light therapy.
Red light therapy has taken off lately in the biohacking world, but I don’t think people understand yet how important it is for your health.
In fact, in my opinion, red light is as important as any other essential nutrient to your health. Your cells literally have a receptor that turns red light into more energy production. And I think that this is a huge reason why health is cratering today.
Red light deficiency is as bad as any nutrient deficiency.
Let me explain
What is Red Light
Most people think of light as something that simply illuminates things. All it’s necessary for is turning on the lights in your kitchen at night so that you can cook beef liver.
But it turns out light is so much more important than that.
Light is bioactive and actually can get into your cells, affecting your mitochondrial function. There have been thousands and thousands of studies examining the effects of light on human health, but similar to the benefits of red meat, it’s gone unnoticed to many.
Stepping back, what exactly is light? Light is composed of electromagnetic waves. And from that perspective, it makes sense that light can penetrate your cells, because it’s similar to xrays and other radiation that you know can.
Visible light is just one part of this electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from 400nm to 700nm. Red light ranges from the wavelengths 600nm to 700nm and NIR is from 700nm to a little over 1,100nm.
The longer the wavelength, the deeper it can penetrate into your cells.
What many people don’t realize is that a huge component of sunlight is these electromagnetic waves — not just the UV rays that you constantly hear about.
And it turns out that a lot of the benefits I speak about with regards to getting in the sun, stem from the red and near infrared components of sun.
In fact, only 2 to 5% of the suns rays are UV rays. Most of them are actually infrared.
Why is red / NIR light important?
Why is red / NIR light important?
I don’t say this lightly (pun intended): it’s an absolute tragedy for human health that people spend their entire days in artificial light instead of in the sun.
With the sun being demonized and the rise of cubicle jobs, most people are missing out on these vital aspects of health.
Some studies suggest that people’s light exposure is almost 1000x less today than what our ancestors would have gotten.
Most people are familiar with three of the common ill effects of avoiding the sun: low vitamin D, dysregulated circadian rhythm and being pale AF. These are three huge components of our disastrous decline in health.
But unbeknownst to many are the dire consequences of red light and NIR light avoidance. Part of the reason why these go unnoticed is because they’re less apparent. Health is cratering and people assume it’s just natural…but like a plant that’s taken out of sunlight, humans are withering and dying too.
Red / NIR light is like the beef liver of the light spectrum. Underrated and insanely good for you.
There are dozens of different mechanisms for why red light and NIR light is important.
But one of the most often cited reasons is its impact on a mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome c oxidase. In the electron transport chain before transforming food to energy in the mitochondria, the enzyme cytochrome c oxidase binds with oxygen to produce ATP.
Studies show that red light and NIR light is necessary to maximize its efficiency.
Given my new view on health as directly related to maximizing cellular energy function, this is absolutely critical. And no wonder it has so many far reaching benefits as I’ll mention briefly below.
Dr. Michael Hamblin believes that when our cells are bombarded with stress, like they are today, nitric oxide can actually bind to CCO and displace oxygen. This ends up hindering ATP production.
Some studies show that red / NIR can actually knock the NO off of the enzyme and allow oxygen to bind to it once again.
Another reason red / NIR light is important is because of its effects on the water of the cells. Water itself is actually a photoreceptor and its structure is altered by its interactions with light.
In many ways our cells are like balloons, full of water. But based on its interactions with light, that water can change from something completely watery, to something more viscous like jello.This study in 2015 showed that red / NIR can make water more viscous, which actually enhanced ATP production.
Lastly, red / NIR is a potent anti inflammatory by inhibiting the prostaglandins. In a world where we are bombarded with inflammatory toxins, we’ve never needed red / NIR light more.
What this all boils down to is that red light is an absolute modern panacea which can increase ATP production in the mitochondria, which is, ya know, quite important considering every single organ, tissue and physiological process requires energy.
And if you’re avoiding red light, it’s as bad for you as avoiding red meat.
The benefits of red light and near infrared light
I’m not going to get too much into the benefits in the post, but safe to say they are extremely far reaching.
I think that red light, red meat and red pills are the three kids to reinvigorating the modern world.
Let me explain.
Over the last 5 years, thousands of studies have come out on the benefits of red / NIR.
What’s interesting, however, is that I think part of the reason why it’s been so beneficial is because there’s a massive red light deficiency from such little sun exposure. Our ancestors spent all day bathing in the sun and then night around the red lit campfire. Meaning, if you did these same sorts of studies on ancient hunter gatherers, i’m not sure you’d see the same benefits.
This is all to say that red light has been completely removed from the modern world, and similar to our malnutrition crisis, we have a mal-illumination crisis. This isn’t some new fad…it’s helping to restore one more thing that modern world has taken out.
Some of the most interesting benefits to me are the following:
#1 Reducing depression
This study from 2019 showed that red / NIR was able to reverse depression in 6/10 participants in just 4 weeks of treatment.
Seriously, how do people not know this? If red light can reverse depression this fast, the better quesiton is how much of our depression / anxiety today is caused by people sitting on their asses indoors today? I.e. is it the addition of red light that’s helping? Or is it a gaping deficiency that’s causing it?
This all gets back to how pernicious and pervasive the effects are of energy deficiencies and why improving cellular energy production needs to be the north star of your health.
#2 Reverse skin aging
Red / NIR works magic on the skin. Red light is able to stimulate collagen and elastic production, which can make your skin look like its aging in reverse and help to heal the damage that accumulates with age.
This 2013 review highlighted dozens of studies proving red / NIR benefits in aging.
#3. Increased hair growth
Yes…it’s possible. You can regrow your hair without the DHT wrecking drugs on the market. Red light has been shown to aid hair growth, which is increasingly becoming a problem for men. 650 nm red light was shown to increase hair growth in men with androgenic alopecia in this study.
You’re welcome men!!
#4. Improved cognitive performance
By increasing energy flow to the brain, red / NIR is able to improve cognitive performance. Some of the studies are conducted with high powered NIR devices directly on the head which is hard to mimic with devices on the market. But it’s a compelling reason to spend more time in red / NIR.
One angle this provides hope for is Alzheimer’s disease treatment which we continue to strike out on.
#5. Increase fertility.
We’re experiencing a fertility crisis today and I think that red light / NIR + sunning your balls, of course, is a critical part of the solution.
Red / NIR therapy has been effective in improving fertiliy in both men and women.
This remarkable review showed that red / NIR light therapy resulted in pregnancy for 22% of severely infertile women with 50% successful live births.
Men’s gonads love red light too. In studies on sperm, NIR therapy at 830nm produced significant imporvements in sperm motility.
Hot damn. Red light may be the best thing next to beef liver. Absolutely phenomenal.
Now I bet you’re wondering how to get more red light in your life. My favorite way is the sun. But the most effective way is still a highly targeted red light device.
If you’re interested in getting some more info on red lights + some guidance on what devices to buy, enter your email below.