Red Light for Hypertension
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is blood pressure that is higher than normal. There are often no signs that someone has high blood pressure, which is dangerous since untreated hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It can also damage the eyes, kidneys, and brain.
Blood pressure is related to the widening of blood vessels, called vasodilation. Vasodilation is widening or relaxation of the blood vessels, and increased vasodilation reduces blood pressure. Vasodilation also increases the flow of blood throughout the body, which delivers more nutrients and oxygen to cells. When red and near infrared light are absorbed by molecules in mitochondria, the process by which ATP production increases also has the effect of increasing levels of nitric oxide. Increasing vasodilation would have a wide range of cardiovascular benefits including decreasing blood pressure.
Studies in animals have shown clearly that red light therapy can lower blood pressure. Application of a red light laser to the abdomen of hypertensive rats has been shown to decrease blood pressure, with the effect being mediated by the release of nitric oxide. In rats, red light therapy has also been found to prevent the increase in blood pressure that is associated with eating a high fat diet.
The strength of this research has led scientists to suggest that red light therapy could be used in humans to decrease blood pressure and reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, for which high blood pressure is a risk factor. Research is currently underway to see if red light applied by a bracelet to the arteries in the wrist can lower blood pressure.
Since research showing that red light reduces blood pressure has been done in animal models, recommendations regarding how to use red light therapy to affect blood pressure are based on inference, rather than on direct research. It is most likely best to cover as much of the body as possible with light, with a focus on the upper chest and neck. The neck contains cells that are specifically designed to regulate blood pressure, called baroreceptors. We recommend using the Fringe red light panel to shine light on the upper chest and neck for 10-20 minutes per day, 3-7 times per week.
Dr. Genevieve Newton, DC, PhD spent close to 20 years as a researcher and educator in the field of nutritional sciences before joining Fringe as its Scientific Director. Gen’s job is to “bring the science” that supports Fringe’s products and education. She is passionate about all things Fringe, and is a deep believer in healing body, mind and spirit using the gifts of the natural world.
The contents in this blog; such as text, content, graphics are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider.
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