Shedding Light on Male Wellness: Red Light Therapy's Role in Optimizing Hormones Like Testosterone
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Shedding Light on Male Wellness: Red Light Therapy's Role in Optimizing Hormones Like Testosterone
Create on 2023-11-05
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Testosterone is a favorite topic among male wellness enthusiasts. It is a male sex hormone that affects more than just libido. We know that scientifically, an increase in testosterone levels can enhance muscle-building effects, boost strength, improve mood, elevate sexual desire, and have a generally positive impact on male health.

First, let's take a deeper look at testosterone.

What is Testosterone?

Testosterone is an essential anabolic hormone in men, mainly secreted directly by the testes (about 95%) and adrenal glands, and is regulated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

It plays a crucial role in regulating primary functions in the male body, such as the reproductive system (sperm production) or the development of male secondary sexual characteristics (voice, beard, body hair, etc.). In addition, testosterone also helps in muscle growth and fat breakdown, as well as supports the production of red blood cells (RBCs), calcium and phosphorus deposition, etc. Testosterone hormones rise during puberty and peak in late adolescence.

 

Testosterone

 

What are the effects of low testosterone levels?

As you age and with chronic illness, you may lose testosterone. After age 30 or so, it's normal for men's testosterone levels to drop slightly about 1%-2% each year. Because testicular function gradually declines with age, the production of testosterone hormone also decreases, and sex hormone binding globulin increases with age, which may reduce the active (free) form of testosterone in the body.

Symptoms of testosterone deficiency include hair loss, loss of muscle mass, erectile dysfunction, reduced sperm count, breast enlargement, hot flashes, brittle bones, and more.

Testosterone deficiency, or more medically, hypogonadism, is an increasingly common symptom today. Because this happens so slowly, many men aren't aware of these problems and symptoms.

 

the effects of testosterone levels

 

What are the effects of high testosterone levels?

Excessive testosterone can cause harm to men's health, including low sperm count, testicular shrinkage, higher risk of heart muscle damage and heart attack, insomnia, emotional and aggressive behavior, etc. Of course, congenitally high testosterone levels are not a common problem among men. Excessive testosterone levels mostly come from people who use anabolic steroids, testosterone, or related hormones to increase muscle mass.

Treatment Options

Whether it's a special diet, therapy, or supplement to maintain testosterone, most men struggle with masculinity. Low testosterone levels should not be overlooked, as they can significantly impact bodily functions, particularly fertility. There are several testosterone replacement therapy options available for treating low testosterone. However, these synthetic steroids tend to have significant side effects, including metabolic and nutritional, gastrointestinal and reproductive system disorders, etc.

Can Red Light Therapy Help to Regulate Testosterone levels?

Red light therapy, also called photobiomodulation (PBM), is the metabolic and cellular response of living cells to "light energy." including artificial electromagnetic radiation (EMR) in the visible spectrum as well as near-infrared (NIR) bands. It is well-known to stimulate beneficial physiological effects in cells, tissues, and organs. Red light LEDs have been widely used in pain relief, inflammation regulation, and wound healing since 1960.

Red light therapy is providing a whole new therapeutic avenue in male reproductive health. It is believed that male testicles contain photoreceptive proteins called "opsin proteins." When red light and near-infrared light (630-940nm) are applied to the testis, they activate photoreceptors to enhance testosterone production through scientifically proven biological mechanisms.

Stimulate mitochondria of Leydig Cells: Just as humans need to supplement nutrition for three meals a day, cell renewal and metabolism also need energy, and ATP and NADPH are indispensable. Mitochondria are sensitive to red light irritation.

Studies done by Hasini et al. (2020) have shown that the photochemical effect of red light increases mitochondria (energy powerhouses of the cell) function, the number of Leydig cells, and testosterone levels in mice.

Another interesting study found that low-level light therapy (LLLT) could significantly enhance sperm motility by increasing ATP production in men.

Reduces inflammation: Red light therapy inhibits the secretion of pro-inflammatory factors in the body and decreases the reactive oxygen species content and oxidative stress, ultimately lowering metabolic disease risk. Men with diabetes and chronic diseases often experience decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, and sperm abnormalities, which can lead to infertility. In correlation to previous research findings, another study showed that red light (670nm) does not cause testicular tissue structure abnormalities but increases serum testosterone compared to conventional testosterone replacement therapy.

Optimize Hormone Level: Testosterone imbalances can lead to many problems, including decreased energy levels, weight gain, and low libido. Abnormal levels of hormones (high or low testosterone) can cause negative feedback suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, leading to impaired spermatogenesis. Unlike traditional testosterone supplementation, red light does not cause spermatogenesis abnormalities and increases sperm concentration and motility. Red light therapy regulates optimal testosterone production by positively affecting the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis (HPG axis).

Enhance circulation: With disease research progress, more and more studies have found that poor blood circulation reduces male sexual function. It involves libido, erection, ejaculation, and many other aspects. If testosterone levels are low, red light irradiation can be used to maintain normal sexual function. Red light therapy generates several vasodilators, which accelerate circulation, deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the testicle tissues, and increase testosterone levels and high libido.

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Natural and Safe

Long-term use of synthetic steroids carries multiple potential health risks for men. Conversely, shedding red light therapy on testicles to optimize endogenous testosterone levels is safe, non-invasive, and effective due to red light mainly photochemical properties instead of photothermal. As we know, excessive heat can inhibit testosterone production. Regular addition of red light therapy into your lifestyle will not only maintain testosterone production but also provide you with a plethora of benefits, from stronger metabolism to enhanced masculinity.

References and Citations:

[1] Gabel, C. P., Carol, J., & Harison, K. (2018). Sperm motility is enhanced by a Low-Level Laser Light light-emitting diode (PBM) with a dose-dependent response and differential effects in fresh frozen samples. Laser therapy, 27(2), 131–136.

[2] Ahn, J., Kim, Y., & Rhe, C.K. (2013). The effects of LLLT on testis in elevating serum testosterone level in rats.

[3] Hasani, A., Khosrvi, A., Rahmi, K., Afshar, A., Fadaei-Fathbadi, F., Raofi, A., Rae, P., Aghajnpour, F., Aliaghei, A., Abdi, S., Noruzian, M., & Abdolahifar, M. A. (2020). PBM restores spermatogenesis in transient scrotal hyperthermia induced mice. Life sciences, 254, 117767.

[4] Lykhnosov, M. P., Babnko, A. Y., Makrin, V. A., & Fedotov, Y. N. (2020). Problemy endokrinologii, 66(1), 104–112.

[5] Porst, H., & Buri, A. (2019). Novel Treatment for Pre-mature Ejaculation in the Light of Current Therapies: A Review. Sexual med reviews, 7(1), 129–140.

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