Infrared LEDs are commonly used in security systems to keep you safe and give you peace of mind. Now it turns out that red or near-infrared LEDs can protect you in another way: through the healing power of cellular regeneration. Since we’ve all gotten so used to the idea that light exposure (especially sunlight) is bad for you, it’s a bit tricky to wrap your head around the idea that LED light exposure can actually improve your health. But it’s a fact; the spectrum of light that encompasses red and near-infrared light represents a “window of wavelengths” that can pass through tissue, where it benefits damaged cells, causing them to create more ATP (cellular energy) and increasing DNA and RNA activity.
In fact, the benefits of IR light exposure have been documented in reports and studies since 1987, though common belief held that lasers or other expensive medical equipment were required to reap the benefits of light therapy. It has been proven, however, that LEDs work just as well, the ideal wavelengths being between 600 and 900 nm, with the best results at specific ranges: 610-625, 660-690, 750-770, and 815-860 nm.
They found that IR LEDs increased cell growth by 155 to 171 percent in humans and wound size decreased up to 36 percent. According to the study's abstract, ". LED produced improvement of greater than 40% in musculoskeletal training injuries in Navy SEAL team members, and decreased wound healing time in crew members aboard a U.S. Naval submarine. LED produced a 47% reduction in pain of children suffering from oral mucositis." The study concluded that , "the use of NASA LED for light therapy... will greatly enhance the natural wound healing process, and more quickly return the patient to a preinjury/illness level of activity."
Furthermore, many of the benefits of light therapy can be achieved through sun exposure, though there are inherent risks involved in this practice, namely heatstroke, sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer. LEDs, on the other hand, can be used at any time of day, take less time to achieve desired results, and also do not cause sunburn.
Some of the conditions that LED light therapy may reportedly treat include: osteoarthritis, sports injuries, burns, scrapes, and pain relief from cuts, ulcers, macular degeneration, fibromyalgia pains, tendonitis bursitis, psoriasis, eczema and acne.
Published in the Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery.