A collection of light therapy research articles on the benefits of light therapy use for improving circulation.
NOTE: Researchers use several terms to describe “light therapy”. Photobiomodulation, low level light therapy (LLLT), phototherapy, photon therapy, photo energy, heliotherapy, and sometimes red, blue or (near)infrared radiation are synonymous; they all refer to light therapy.
Light therapy improves wound healing by creating new blood vessels for improved circulation
Light therapy has gained considerable recognition in the medical community for wound healing. Many clinics are now starting to incorporate this procedure, documenting astounding results. Now, studies are being performed to understand the mechanism of action inside the body when light therapy is delivered. This particular study looked at angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) in wound healing and found that the angiogenesis was increased towards the wound. This gives us insight that improved blood flow through angiogenesis may be one of the key factors in light therapy’s ability to help improve the wound healing process.
Light therapy independently increases nitric oxide levels
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin (Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine), knowing the critical role of nitric oxide in angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth/collateral circulation), and understanding low level light’s influence (670nm) on increasing nitric oxide levels, decided to perform a study to see if low level light therapy was able to independently effect nitric oxide levels and angiogenesis. As expected, the study concludes with supporting light therapy’s ability to independently increase nitric oxide levels and increase new blood vessel growth in oxygen-deficient areas. This study is now published in the journal of molecular and cellular cardiology.
Light therapy increases venous nitric oxide levels for peripheral circulation
In this study, low level light therapy (LLLT) was applied to the forearm of 15 subjects. Before and subsequent to this procedure, blood levels were regularly measured for levels of nitric oxide. The results demonstrated that LLLT increased NO levels in venous blood draining from the treatment site, and this phenomenon peaked after 5 minutes of light therapy.
Effects of Near-Infrared Light on Microcirculation
2000, Wiley-Liss Inc., Research Article
This study found that laser irradiation at a wavelength of 830 nm is a potent dilator of the arteriole and consequently causes a marked increase in blood flow in the rat microvascular bed. Nitric oxide seems partly involved in the vasodilation that occurs in the early phase.
Vascular regeneration effect of Adipose-Derived Stem Cells with Light-Emitting Diode Phototherapy in Ischemic Tissue
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects on the vascular regeneration of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) by using red light-emitting diode (LED) irradiation in ischemic hind limbs. Low-level light therapy (LLLT) has been shown to enhance proliferation and cytokine secretion of a number of cells.
The effect of LED on blood microcirculation during chronic wound healing in diabetic and non-diabetic patients – a prospective, double-blind randomized study
“Chronic wounds, especially in diabetic patients, represent a challenging health issue. Since standard treatment protocols often do not provide satisfactory results, additional treatment methods – like phototherapy using low-level light therapy – are being investigated. The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of phototherapy with light-emitting diodes on chronic wound treatment in diabeticand non-diabetic patients.
Far Red/Near Infrared Light Treatment Promotes Femoral Artery Collateralization in the Ischemic Hindlimb
Nitric oxide (NO) is a crucial mediator of hindlimb collateralization and angiogenesis. Within tissues there are nitrosyl-heme proteins which have the potential to generate NO under conditions of hypoxia or low pH. Low level irradiation of blood and muscle with light in the far red/near infrared spectrum (670 nm, R/NIR) facilitates NO release.
The Effects of Transcranial LED Therapy (TCLT) on Cerebral Blood Flow in the Elderly Women
During aging processes, there is a range of functional changes, where we can highlight the disease related to the central nervous system, such as Alzheimer disease and others forms of dementia. This study investigated the effects of transcranial light emitting diode (LED) on cerebral blood flow in healthy elderly women analyzed by transcranial Doppler ultrasound (TCD) of the right and left middle cerebral artery and basilar artery.
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