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Collagen is the most abundant protein our bodies produce, and it’s critical for bone, joint, skin, and hair health. Collagen is hard, fibrous, and extremely strong. It literally holds us together, and the more you can produce naturally, the better. Many people take collagen supplements or use creams to improve their skin or joint health, but there’s no substitute for your body making more of the real thing.

In numerous clinical studies, red light therapy treatments have significantly increased natural collagen levels. This article breaks down the research on natural light and collagen and explains how red light therapy treatments can improve skin, bone, and joint health.

What is Collagen? Why is it So Important for Skin, Joint, and Bone Health?

Collagen is the primary structural protein in our bodies. It’s the main ingredient in our connective tissue, consisting of tightly bound amino acids that hold our bodies together. There are over 20 different types of collagen, but 90% of it is called Type I collagen, which is made of densely packed fibers, and is a key component of human skin, tendons, bones, ligaments, and teeth. Type II collagen, made of more loosely packed fibers and found in your cartilage and eyes, is also common. [1]

These fibrous types of collagen pack together to form fibrils. If you were to look at these fibrils under a microscope you’d see a repeating pattern of bands, similar to the tightly woven lines of fabric in cotton garments. These fibrils are incredibly strong and can stretch without being broken. In tendons, for example, these fibrils connect bones to muscles and withstand incredible strain. [2]

As we age, our collagen production tends to decrease and become less effective. This is one major reason why people see their skin become less firm over time, and why joint function, hair growth, and dental health also decline with age.

Bottom line: our bodies need lots of collagen to stay firm and functioning. The more collagen your body can produce, the better your skin, joints, bones, hair, and teeth will look and function as you get older.

How Red Light Stimulates Natural Collagen Production

Fibroblasts are cells that use amino acids to create collagen in our bodies. It’s a job that requires lots of energy, which comes from ATP production in the mitochondria of our cells. [1]

Red and near infrared wavelengths of natural light stimulate the mitochondria in your cells. With this boost, mitochondria are able to take light, oxygen, and nutrients from the food we eat and turn it into usable energy for our bodies through the process of cellular respiration.

So when our bodies take in the healthy natural wavelengths of red and infrared light, the mitochondria in our cells can produce energy more efficiently. That increased energy allows your fibroblast cells to create more natural collagen.

This natural boost in collagen production from wavelengths of red and near infrared light has been examined in numerous clinical trials and laboratory studies. [3,4] And the benefits of higher levels of naturally produced collagen can be seen in skin, bones, and hair.

Healthier, Younger-Looking Skin with Natural Collagen from Red Light Therapy

Collagen is essential to skin health and beauty. Red light therapy’s collagen-boosting effects are the foundation of its major wrinkle-fighting and anti-aging benefits. Let’s take a look at the research on red light, collagen, and skin health.

A randomized, controlled study in 2013 analyzed the effects of red light therapy on 136 people. Those who were in the red light therapy group were between 27 and 79 years old and received red light therapy twice a week for 15 weeks. Along with the initial trial results, there was also a long-term follow up which analyzed continued red light treatment. The results were very positive:

Red Light Increases Collagen Density: Volunteers who received red light therapy treatment saw big increases in their collagen density counts compared to the control group, which saw no significant changes.

Red Light Reduces Wrinkles and Improves Complexion: Those treated with red light therapy saw significantly improved skin complexion including visible reduction in wrinkles, fine lines, and signs of aging.

Patients Report Big Skin Improvements with Red Light Therapy: After 30 treatment sessions, nearly every person in the red light therapy group reported improvements to their skin. Volunteers that continued with red light therapy for an addition 30 treatments continued to see improvements. [4]

Try Red Light Therapy Today!

Collagen is essential for our bodies to stay firm and functioning. There are a wide range of collagen supplements available, but it’s no substitute for your body making its own collagen, especially as you age. Across numerous clinical studies, red light therapy has shown it helps people boost their natural collagen production, without side effects. This leads to a wide range of health benefits, from younger-looking skin, to faster muscle recovery, and stronger joint and skeletal health.

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Sources and References:

  • [1] Wu M, Crane JS. Biochemistry, Collagen Synthesis. [Updated 2019 Apr 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2019 Jan.
  • [2] Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th edition. New York: W. H. Freeman; 2000. Section 22.3, Collagen: The Fibrous Proteins of the Matrix. 
  • [3] Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013.
  • [4] Wunsch A and Matuschka K. A Controlled Trial to Determine the Efficacy of Red and Near-Infrared Light Treatment in Patient Satisfaction, Reduction of Fine Lines, Wrinkles, Skin Roughness, and Intradermal Collagen Density Increase. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. Feb 2014.