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Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss: Exploring Benefits, Effectiveness, and Safety

Explore the benefits of using red light therapy for weight loss, this innovative treatment can help boost metabolism, reduce fat, and improve overall health. Learn about its safety, effectiveness, and how to incorporate it into your wellness routine.

RedlightTherapyDigest Staff By RLTD Staff Updated April 10, 2024
Medically reviewed Medically reviewed by: Dr. Konstantin
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Overview: Red Light Therapy For Weight Loss

Red Light Therapy for weight loss is a new method of getting rid of fat without any surgery. Some people say that it can help remove stubborn fat without any diet or exercise regime, but others, especially health experts and researchers, are skeptical about the role of red light therapy in fat loss. So, are you wondering if it is worth a try? Does red light therapy really work for weight loss? Does red light therapy show any side effects after the treatment? Well, we’ve got you covered.
This article will take a closer look at the risks, benefits, side effects, and other nitty-gritty of red light therapy. Keep reading until the end of the conclusion to know more.

How does Red Light Therapy Work for Weight Loss?

In addition to delivering multiple benefits, red light therapy is known to target weight loss. Red light therapy is known to work by targeting the adipocyte cells that are responsible for storing fat cells in the body. A study published by Pinar Avci et al. in the PMC – NCBI found that low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or red light therapy activates the energy centers (mitochondria) in fat cells, making them work harder. This results in the production of a molecule called ATP. More ATP leads to an increase in another molecule called cAMP. When cAMP levels rise, it acts like a signal that tells cells to use a special enzyme called cytoplasmic lipase. This enzyme plays a key role in breaking down fat into smaller components: fatty acids and glycerol. These smaller parts can then easily exit the fat cells through tiny openings in their walls. As a result, the fat cells shrink in size, which helps in burning fat.

Catherine Rall, Registered Dietitian at Happy V says that participants underwent 12 sessions of FDA-approved low-level laser therapy (LLLT) using the Erchonia® Zerona™ v2.0 Laser, targeting central adiposity in the abdomen and back. The device emitted 532 nm (green) laser light from six heads, each at 17-mW output. Treatments varied from 1 to 3 times weekly, lasting 30 minutes each session, with lasers positioned approximately 6 inches from the targeted area. Results showed a significant reduction in body circumference, especially in hips, waist, and thighs, suggesting LLLT is a safe, non-invasive option for aesthetic improvements.

It’s tough to say for sure if red light therapy is a great way to lose weight because there haven’t been many big studies on it. But there have been a few smaller studies. For instance, a research study published in the Lasers in Surgery and Medicine Journal noted that 67 people got low-level laser therapy or red light therapy on one side of their body and a fake treatment on the other side for two weeks. The results were clear: they measured a noticeable decrease in the size of their waist, hips, and thighs after finishing the two-week study compared to when they started.

Some other studies have connected red light therapy with weight loss, but they tend to be on the smaller side or don’t include a comparison group for better accuracy. Additionally, there isn’t much information available to confirm whether the effects of red light therapy on weight loss last for a long time or if they are medically significant.

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Red Light Therapy Benefits for Weight Loss

1. Boosts Cellular Energy and Performance

As we’ve explained in other reviews such as our article about Platinum Therapy Lights, LEDs send photons of light into the cell mitochondria, synthesizing higher levels of ATP to power all of the body’s cells.

The increase in ATP offers numerous health benefits as it elevates cellular energy. Among other things it increases energy levels, which can help you to be more active and burn additional calories.

An article by Alexandra J. Brownstein, et al published in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders discussed the role of ATP in counteracting obesity [1].

2. Speeds Up the Metabolism and Improves Muscle Mass

When it comes to weight loss, red light therapy may speed up the metabolism. This causes the body to enter a state called thermogenesis where it burns stored white fat rapidly, for a fast decrease in weight.

LED light also improves circulation, helping to build muscle mass and strength by providing oxygen and nutrients. While muscle may weight more than fat, muscle development helps to burn calories more rapidly and keep the metabolism running at a high level.

A 12 week study on twins in the American Journal of Physical and Mental Rehabilitation by Cleber Ferraresi, PhD, PT, et al showed that red light therapy 3 times a week improved muscle mass as well as exercise endurance and recovery. It also decreased muscle pain and repaired damage [2].

3. Reduces the Size of Fat Cells

A large amount of the fat tissue on your body is white fat, especially in overweight individuals. These are adipose tissue cells composed primarily of triglycerides, and limited mitochondria.

Brown cells have fewer triglycerides and more mitochondria, making them much more useful for speeding up the metabolism to increase fat burning.

LED light therapy, particularly with combined red and infrared wavelengths, targets the white cells both reducing their size and converting others into brown adipose tissue. In addition, red light therapy results in improved insulin resistance for more balanced blood sugar levels.

A comprehensive review published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine by Pinar Avci, MD and Theodore T. Nyame, MD, et al showed that low level laser therapy helped with fat reduction [3].

As we reviewed the article called Best dpl light therapy systems, these products focus majorly on healthcare products that help in reducing muscle pain, increasing energy, and weight loss.

4. Cellulite Reduction

Cellulite is a common type of fatty acid tissue in the body that makes the skin look bumpy in places like the thighs and belly. As people get older, their bodies make less amount of collagen. Red light therapy has become a popular way to boost collagen production. This therapy can reduce the look of cellulite and make the skin tighter in these areas. It does this by promoting the growth of special cells named fibroblasts that produce collagen. More collagen means better blood flow, that can help get rid of the cells that cause cellulite.In addition to the helping the growth of the fibroblasts, it also stimulates the growth of elastin fibers that make skin smoother and firmer.

We covered an article called nushape wrap reviews which eliminates cellulite, and belly fat and promotes muscle recovery, and muscle gain.

5. Suppresses Hunger

The effects of red light therapy for weight loss extend into helping to regulate your appetite so you don’t overeat or experience powerful cravings, by regulating levels of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.

Leptin blocks the hunger response in the hypothalamus of the brain and regulates energy balance, and ghrelin increases hunger. LED light helps to increase leptin and decrease ghrelin for a reduction in hunger and cravings.

A study in the International Journal of Endocrinology by Mariana G. FigueiroBarbara Plitnick, and Mark S. Rea concluded that red and green LED wavelengths balanced leptin and ghrelin for decreased hunger in the mornings [4].

6. Elevates Mood

Infrared light can also decrease appetite by stimulating the production of mood neurotransmitters like serotonin. Improvements in mood can reduce hunger and emotion-based eating for a lower daily calorie intake.

A study by researchers Fredric Schiffer and Andrea L Johnston, et al published in Behavioral and Brain Functions found that one single treatment of the best light therapy lamp for sad to the forehead improved the symptoms of depression and anxiety in patents with these conditions within 2-4 weeks [5].

7. Improves Sleep

Red light therapy improves sleep by increasing levels of nighttime melatonin, for a faster, better quality sleep. The enhanced rest helps keep levels of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin in proper balance, to decrease appetite and lower daily calorie intake.

A 2 week study published in the Journal of Athletic Training by Jiexiu Zhao, PhD and Ye Tian, PhD, et al found that red light therapy every night for 14 days improved melatonin levels and sleep quality in female basketball players [6].

8. Lowers Inflammation

Overweight and obesity may lead to chronic cellular inflammation, which weakens the immune system and could also promote metabolic dysfunction. All of these factors can increase the potential for weight gain or make it more difficult to lose.

Evidence indicates the positive benefits of red light therapy for decreasing inflammation in the body. An article by Michael R Hamblin published in AIMS Biophysics discussed the application and mechanism through which photobiomodulation decreases inflammation [7].

9. Regulates Thyroid Metabolism

There’s some evidence that the best handheld red light therapy device can help balance the thyroid metabolism, which plays a key role in weight regulation. It may improve functioning for people with hypothyroidism, which has weight gain as one of its symptoms.

A study published in ISRN Endocrinology by Danilo Bianchini Höfling, et al concluded that low level light therapy can improve thyroid vasodilation [8].

Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss

What are The Risks and Side Effects?

Red light therapy seems to help with Weight Loss. It’s not certain whether its effects last a long time for most conditions. This means that the benefits might fade away after a while, or the body might get used to it and not respond as well. Some of the common effects include:

  • Skin discomfort- This means your skin could become slightly uncomfortable.
  • Skin Redness- Your skin might appear a bit redder than usual, like a mild sunburn.
  • Mild burning or tingling- You may feel a slight burning or tingling sensation on your skin.
  • Skin shedding- Your skin might start to shed small flakes.
  • Darkening of skin color- Some areas of your skin might become darker in color than they typically are.

If you experience any side effects, we would suggest consulting your healthcare practitioner before using red light therapy for weight loss.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Before and After Using Red Light Therapy

Many people have taken red light therapy treatment for weight loss and have shared their positive experiences by posting before and after images of the treatment on various sites. Many of the reviewers have shared how they found it difficult to lose weight, but with the combination of red light therapy, they got the desired results in a short span of time.

Weight Loss ReviewWeight Loss Before and After

At-Home Use of Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss

Red light therapy is found in many places, like gyms, tanning salons, wellness centers, and spas. You can even get devices for it at home, but the good ones can be pricey. Before trying it, talk to your regular doctor. If it’s your first time, it’s a good idea to see a professional who knows about red light therapy. Consider exploring devices from reputable manufacturers for a safe and effective at-home red light therapy experience. Additionally, wellness clinics such as Degree Wellness can guide you on incorporating red light therapy into your weight loss journey for optimal results.

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Which LED Colors Work Best For Weight Loss?

The best red light therapy device for weight loss should combine red and infrared light. Evidence indicates that the ideal wavelength range is from 650 nanometers (nm) to 850nm.

There is some research showing that red, blue, and infrared light combined could also help decrease weight and improve body shape.

A study by Katayoon MontazeriSoheila Mokmeli, and Maryam Barat in the Journal of Lasers on Medical Science showed that 12 sessions with a mix of blue, red, and infrared LED light reduced abdominal girth [9].

We covered Lifepro sauna blanket which promotes weight loss, rejuvenates skin and relieves pain and inflammation with no risk of side effects as it has a very low EMF level and is also FDA-approved.

FAQs

Q: Does Red Light Therapy Really Work For Weight Loss?

A: There is evidence to indicate that there are red light therapy benefits for weight loss. The technology helps to break down the fat cells, decrease hunger, lessen inflammation, speed up the metabolism for fat burning, improve mood, and enhance sleep quality, all of which have a positive impact on managing weight.

The technology could have an especially significant effect on weight loss if combined with a healthy diet and exercise. You can also use red light therapy for loose skin after weight loss, as it tightens and firms.

Q: Can red light therapy reduce stretch marks?

A: Yes, red light therapy can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks by stimulating collagen production and promoting skin healing.

Q: How quickly does red light therapy work?

A: The speed at which red light therapy works varies from person to person. Some people may see results in a few weeks, while others may take several months of regular sessions for noticeable changes. Consistency with treatment is key for best results.

Q: Does red light therapy speed up metabolism?

A: Yes, red light therapy can help speed up metabolism by stimulating mitochondria in cells, which may lead to increased energy expenditure and fat burning.

Q: Does red light therapy slim the face?

A: Yes, red light therapy may help slim the face by promoting collagen production and tightening the skin, leading to a more contoured appearance.

Q: Can red LED lights cause fat loss?

A: Red LED lights used in red light therapy can potentially aid in fat loss by stimulating fat cells to release stored fat for energy, but it’s not a standalone solution and should be combined with a healthy lifestyle for best results.

Q: How much weight can you lose with red light therapy?

A: The amount of weight you can lose with red light therapy varies from person to person. It’s typically a complementary treatment and may help with fat loss, but exact numbers can’t be guaranteed. Results depend on factors like diet, exercise, and individual metabolism.

Q: Which Wavelengths are Best For Weight Loss?

A: The evidence indicates that the best red light therapy for weight loss is a combination of red and infrared light. Specifically, the best therapeutic window is anywhere in the range of 650 nanometers (nm) to 850nm, which spans both colors.

Q: Does Red Light Help Belly Fat?

A: Yes, there’s evidence that red light therapy on the stomach benefits weight loss by decreasing the size of white belly fat cells and speeding up the metabolism.

Q: Where Does Fat Go With Red Light Therapy?

A: LED red light therapy for weight loss stimulates the adipose tissue to release the fat in the form of triglycerides, which can lead to significant weight loss over time.

Conclusion

Red light therapy offers numerous benefits to health and wellbeing, including promoting weight loss and lowering blood sugar levels. It could boost cellular energy, break down fat cells, promote fat burning, decrease appetite, build muscle mass, and improve mood and sleep quality, all of which can help to slim you down and improve your body contour.

Reading through the red light therapy weight loss reviews from some of the top brands, it becomes clear that the technology works well for a number of people. Many mentioned steady weight loss with regular treatments as well as stronger muscles and a boost in energy levels and mood.

You can get red light therapy weight loss treatment from a clinic, or you can purchase a device to carry out red light therapy for weight loss at home. When selecting a home panel, as we mentioned in our review of Mito Red Light, ensure that it’s FDA cleared, manufactured according to strict safety regulations, and from a reputable, known manufacturer.

By Dr. Konstantin

Dr. Konstantin is a top, double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in NYC who personally performs more than 1,000 facial plastic surgery.

**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available information and our estimation of efficacy.

*Result may vary. The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. No medical claims are implied in this content, and the information herein is not intended be used for self diagnosis or self treatment of any condition.

Disclosure of Material connection: Some of the links in the post above are "associate sales links." This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services which we use personally and/or believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials."

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