Improve Cardiovascular health With Red and NIR Light Therapy
Heart disease and stroke have become increasingly prevalent in recent decades. According to the American Heart Association, “on average, someone dies of a stroke every 3 minutes and 33 seconds in the United States.” Additionally, “Approximately every 40 seconds, someone in the United States will have a myocardial infarction.”These statistics can be alarming taking into account that 3 of 10 US citizens have a blood pressure in the 129–139 / 84–95 mmHg range. The good news is that preventative measures for chronic heart disease can be implemented.
Cardiovascular health is essential to longevity and wellbeing. It’s no secret that being physically active and implementing a healthy diet are key components. Fortunately, the fit and wellness community has responded to the demand for more accessibility to workout routines, therapeutic supportive modalities and nutrition plans in recent years. There are now a host of options for improving cardiovascular health at home with minimal investment.
Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention
Cutting the risk of heart disease is among the most vital things to do to prevent a heart attack and premature death. One might be surprised to discover that high blood pressure is the leading cause of heart disease.
Maintaining blood pressure at a normal range is critical for avoiding heart disease and extending our lives. Modern treatments and biological therapies serve a purpose and are the first line of treatment for hypertension in the conventional approach. In many circumstances, adjustments in lifestyle with food and nutrition, movement and alternative treatments will support health and longevity.
What are the benefits of red light therapy for Cardiovascular health
Researchers have been examining the large list of benefits of red light therapy including reducing inflammation; as evidenced by studies that have demonstrated substantial benefits as an anti-inflammatory treatment across several health conditions, such as heart disease.
Here's what the scientific community has to say about Heart Health and Red Light Therapy:
As seen in this recent 2017 study, red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation, had consistently favorable effects in animal studies, with reductions in overall infarct size (up to 76 percent), lower inflammation, decrease scarring, and improved tissue regeneration across a variety of wavelengths. The authors noted that red and near-infrared (NIR) light influence “inflammatory cytokines, signaling molecules, transcription factors, enzymes, and antioxidants,” (Liebert A, et al., 2017) among so many other molecular pathways.
Studies have noted that red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), can reduce scarring associated with heart attacks. A study from 2011 noted that “If applied to these cells a few hours after a heart attack, the scarring that weakens the heart muscle can be reduced by up to 80 percent,” (Oron et. al. 2011). Red and near-infrared light therapy helps oxygenate the mitochondria as well as launching the heightened production of ATP; the foundation of energy. When the mitochondria get energized, the cell creates more energy, and when the cell has more energy, it heals faster, resists stress better, and improves performance.
Mitochondria are the cell’s powerhouses and are densely packed in the heart. Anything that improves mitochondrial health results in greater cellular energy, and allows the heart to perform optimally. Researchers found that when the light was shined into a person's bone marrow (the area which is rich in stem cells) the stem cells responded to the heart's signals of distress. Healthier blood flow resulted from the light exposure. Given how remarkably well documented red light therapy is to support and repair the heart, there is hope for effective use in operations involving the heart as well as other major organs.
The use of red light therapy offers the ability to modify cellular metabolism, and influence an array of intracellular biochemical cascades that directly alter cellular behavior and function. The blood vessels and nerves of the body can use similar signals to distinguish, thrive, and navigate toward their function within the body and thus could respond synergistically to a treatment such as red light therapy.
The effects of low-level laser irradiation (LLLI) on components of the cardiovascular system in normal and pathologic situations have piqued researchers' interest. “Studies have included effects on arterial and venous endothelium, smooth muscle cells, cardiac muscle cells, fibroblasts, monocyte/macrophages, and the erythrocytes themselves."
A 2013 article titled, “LLLT improves the inflammatory profile of rats with heart failure ,concluded, “LLLT showed systemic and skeletal muscle anti-inflammatory effects in rats with heart failure.”Ultimately, LLLT could be utilized as a potential “non-pharmacological treatment for the pro-inflammatory state in heart failure syndrome,” (Hentschke VS, et al., 2013). Although the evidence for the use of photobiomodulation in acute and anticipated cardiac interventions is limited, it is sufficient to encourage further clinical trials.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology concluded that “ LLLT associated with concurrent exercise (aerobic plus resistance training) potentiates the exercise effects of decreasing the cardiometabolic risk factors in obese woman”. The researchers went on to conclude that red light therapy combined with exercise could become “a new therapeutic tool in the control of obesity and its comorbidities” (Zhang, R, et. al. 2009 ).
Natural ways to decrease blood pressure and prevent chronic heart disease
- Stress manage
- Red light therapy can help with the release of nitric oxide in our bodies. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes our blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.
- Daily movement and exercise
- Adequate sleep (regulating the circadian rhythm)with sufficient light exposure
- A whole-foods, nutrient-dense diet
When these lifestyle modifications are combined, preventative blood pressure control is one of the most effective ways to promote your cardiovascular health, lower your risk of heart disease, and extend your lifespan. Please always check with your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.
The studies outlined above provide hope for future and present heart conditions as well as demonstrate how something completely unconnected to cardiovascular health can provide significant protection.
At Rouge, we aim to provide you with the opportunity to enjoy the wide range of benefits of red light therapy, in the comfort of your own home. If it's supporting cardiovascular health or supporting post-operative treatment, red light therapy may be right for you. Shop the collection today!
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Hentschke VS, Jaenisch RB, Schmeing LA, Cavinato PR, Xavier LL, Dal Lago P. Low-level laser therapy improves the inflammatory profile of rats with heart failure. Lasers Med Sci. 2013 May;28(3):1007-16. doi: 10.1007/s10103-012-1190-4. Epub 2012 Aug 31. PMID: 22936461.
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Liebert A, Krause A, Goonetilleke N, Bicknell B, Kiat H. A Role for Photobiomodulation in the Prevention of Myocardial Ischemic Reperfusion Injury: A Systematic Review and Potential Molecular Mechanisms. Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 9;7:42386. doi: 10.1038/srep42386. PMID: 28181487; PMCID: PMC5299427.
Manchini MT, Serra AJ, Feliciano Rdos S, et al. Amelioration of cardiac function and activation of anti-inflammatory vasoactive peptides expression in the rat myocardium by low level laser therapy. PLoS One. 2014;9(7):e101270. Published 2014 Jul 3. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101270
Oron U, Yaakobi T, Oron A, Hayam G, Gepstein L, Rubin O, Wolf T, Ben Haim S. Attenuation of infarct size in rats and dogs after myocardial infarction by low-energy laser irradiation. Lasers Surg Med. 2001;28(3):204-11. doi: 10.1002/lsm.1039. PMID: 11295753.
Tuby H, Maltz L, Oron U. Induction of autologous mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow by low-level laser therapy has profound beneficial effects on the infarcted rat heart. Lasers Surg Med. 2011 Jul;43(5):401-9. doi: 10.1002/lsm.21063. PMID: 21674545.