Understanding LED Light Therapy through Published Research

Cellular benefits cascade down into and

affect nearly every tissue, organ and system in the body.

Downstream Cellular Response

There have been a large number of both animal model and clinical studies that demonstrated highly beneficial LLLT effects on a variety of diseases, injuries, and has been widely used in both chronic and acute conditions (see Figure 7). LLLT may enhance neovascularisation, promote angiogenesis and increase collagen synthesis to promote healing of acute (Hopkins et al. 2004) and chronic wounds (Yu et al. 1997). LLLT provided acceleration of cutaneous wound healing in rats with a biphasic dose response favoring lower doses (Corazza et al. 2007). LLLT can also stimulate healing of deeper structures such as nerves (Gigo-Benato et al.2004), tendons (Fillipin et al. 2005), cartilage (Morrone et al. 2000), bones (Weber et al. 2006) and even internal organs (Shao et al. 2005). LLLT can reduce pain (Bjordal et al. 2006a), inflammation (Bjordal et al. 2006b) and swelling (Carati et al. 2003) caused by injuries, degenerative diseases or autoimmune diseases. Oron reported beneficial effect of LLLT on repair processes after injury or ischemia in skeletal and heart muscles in multiple animal models in vivo (Ad and Oron 2001Oron et al. 2001aOron et al. 2001bYaakobi et al. 2001). LLLT has been used to mitigate damage after strokes (in both animals (Lapchak et al. 2008) and humans (Lampl et al. 2007)), after traumatic brain injury (Oron et al. 2007) and after spinal cord injury (Wu et al. 2009).

The paragraph above is taken from a review on photobiomodulation from researchers at Harvard and in China.

‘Distant effect on Organs’: Researchers suggest that LED Light Therapy’s benefits extend beyond superficial cells and into the organs, which may prove in longer studies (longer than traditional 90 clinical trials) to change the health of the entire body..

The take away is that photobiomodulation affects the health of the cells. The cells are the building blocks of the body. ‘Heal the cells and you heal your life.’ Improving the health of the cells affects nearly every tissue, organ and system in the body.

You just get better. People, Feel, Think, Look and Perform Better with PBMt.

General Conditions that PBMt Affects

Inflammation - is considered the root cause of many diseases and PBMt has been shown to reduce inflammation in countless studies.

Nutrients. 2018 May; 10(5): 604. Inflammation, not Cholesterol, Is a Cause of Chronic Disease In this review, “we clarify the roles of risk factors, such as plasma cholesterol and the importance of causative agents for chronic diseases, namely chronic and unresolved inflammation and its manifestations. Instead of cholesterol, targeting and treatment of inflammation will lead to lower side effects in chronic disorders.”

AIMS Biophys. 2017; 4(3): 337–361. Dr Hamblin suggests in his conclusion in this review on PBMt and inflammation: “There is a lot of scope for further work on PBM and inflammation. The intriguing benefits of PBM on some autoimmune diseases, suggests that this area may present a fertile area for researchers. There may be some overlap between the ability of PBM to activate and mobilize stem cells and progenitor cells, and its anti-inflammatory action, considering that one of the main benefits of exogenous stem cell therapy has been found to be its anti-inflammatory effect. The versatile benefits of PBM on the brain and the central nervous system, encourages further study of its ability to reduce neuroinflammation. Chronic diseases of the modern age involving systemic inflammation such as type II diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease and endothelial dysfunction are again worth investigating in the context of PBM.”

One of the most reproducible effects of PBM is an overall reduction in inflammation, which is particularly important for disorders of the joints, traumatic injuries, lung disorders, and in the brain. PBM has been shown to reduce markers of M1 phenotype in activated macrophages. Many reports have shown reductions in reactive nitrogen species and prostaglandins in various animal models. PBM can reduce inflammation in the brain, abdominal fat, wounds, lungs, spinal cord.

Autoimmune Disease - There are over 80 autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis nandd MS occur when the body’s own immune system is over active and begins to attack cells, tissues, organs and systems in the body. A core cause of autoimmune disease is chronic inflammation.

Requoting Dr Hamblin above: “The intriguing benefits of PBM on some autoimmune diseases, suggests that this area may present a fertile area for researchers. There may be some overlap between the ability of PBM to activate and mobilize stem cells and progenitor cells, and its anti-inflammatory action, considering that one of the main benefits of exogenous stem cell therapy has been found to be its anti-inflammatory effect.”

Mitochondrial Function and Dysfunction - Mitochondria are tiny organelles inside the cells that produce energy or ATP in the cells and body. Aging, toxicity, free radical damage and more can cause dysfunction in the mitochondria and with this dysfunction reduce the body’s abikity to produce energy. PBMt seems to ‘clean up’ the mitochondria and has been shown to create ‘giant mitochondria'. This slows cell death and imrpoves system wide energy.

Frees up Mitochondrial Function: The most popular theory to explain exactly why photon absorption by CCO could led to increase of the enzyme activity, increased oxygen consumption, and increased ATP production is based on photodissociation of inhibitory nitric oxide (NO) [13]. Since NO is non-covalently bound to the heme and Cu centers and competitively blocks oxygen at a ratio of 1:10, a relatively low energy photon can kick out the NO and allow a lot of respiration to take place [14].

Mitochondria and Aging: Mitochondria is currently at the heart of the theory on aging. In this Pubmed Review Mol Cell. 2016 Mar 3; 61(5): 654–666. Conclusion: Taken together, these observations suggest that mitochondria can be intimately linked to a wide range of processes associated with aging including senescence, inflammation, as well as the more generalized age-dependent decline in tissue and organ function (Figure 5). 

Bio researchers and pharmaceutical companies are investing millions into developing a pill that improves mitochondrial function to slow, halt or reverse the aging process. PBMt seems to do this now, without pills or side effects.

Circulation - PBMt has been shown to have a marked effect on circulation. It has been shown to both relax arterial walls through an increase in Nirtic Oxide production and create angiogenesis of new arteries/ Both the short and long term benefits improve circulation of blood to the cells, feeding the cells with nutrients and oxygen. Beyond cardiopulmonary requirements of the body at rest, the improved circulatory benefits of PBMt are key in athletic performance

J Athl Train. 2016 Feb; 51(2): 129–135. Results: The distance covered (1.96 ± 0.30 versus 1.84 ± 0.40 km, t19 = 2.119, P < .001) and time until exhaustion on the cardiopulmonary test (780.2 ± 91.0 versus 742.1 ± 94.0 seconds, t19 = 3.028, P < .001) was greater after active PBMT than after placebo. Pulmonary ventilation was greater (76.4 ± 21.9 versus 74.3 ± 19.8 L/min, t19 = 0.180, P = .004) and the score for dyspnea was lower (3.0 [interquartile range = 0.5–9.0] versus 4.0 [0.0–9.0], U = 184.000, P < .001) after active PBMT than after placebo. Conclusions: The combination of lasers and LEDs increased the time, distance, and pulmonary ventilation and decreased the score of dyspnea during a cardiopulmonary test.

Detoxification - Toxicity from food, air, water and environmental pollutants, as well as toxicity created by stress damage the cells in many ways ranging from energy production to cellular replication. Photobiomodulation has been shown to detoxify the cells of waste and free radicals.

PBM has been shown to stimulate lymphatic drainage by dilating lymphatic vessels. The lymphatic system is considered the sewage system of the body. PBMt is also shown to detoxify ROS from the respiratory chain in the mitochondria, thus freeing up energy production in the cells that may have been blocked. This is particulary beneficial to the mitochondria in muscle cells.

Is It Time to Consider Photobiomodulation As a Drug Equivalent?

Contraindications and Safety Recommendations:

NOTE: The conditions and quoted research below are neither claims as to the effectiveness or recommendations for treatment by the ARRC LED and or through ARRC LED system owners in their business. ARRC LED makes not claim as to the effectiveness of any of its system beyond relief from minor aches and pains as approved by the FDA. PBMt at low energy levels is concidered an Over The Counter treatment for minor aches and pains and does not require 510 clearance. Always consult with your physician when treating a condition using PBMt.

Firm Contraindications: Cancer, Elpilepsy (due to pulse), Pregnancy, and Pacemakers are contraindicated with PBMt unless or until studies prove it safe.

Soft Contraindications: Cautions and medical supervision are recommended for anyone taking medications, anyone under the age of 18, anyone with light sensitivy like exogenous exzema or light triggered migraines may occur. The ARRC LED provides it’s owners with a comprehensive intake form identifying potential risks.

Dr Hamblin and Contraindications: ‘PBM has an almost complete lack of reported adverse effects, provided the parameters are understood at least at a basic level. The remarkable range of medical benefits provided by PBM, has led some to suggest that it may be “too good to be true”.


Building Research Library - Come back often!

We are building our research library now and welcome you to return to our site often for condition specific reviews from published literature as well as condition specific podcasts with Dr. Hamblin - arguably the world’s leading expert on PBMt.

Specific Conditions and PBMt Application:

Athletic Performance

Athletic Recovery

Pain Relief

Concussion, TBI and CTE

Heart Disease Photomed Laser Surg. 2013 May; 31(5): 189–191. Another development in recent years is the successful stimulation of stem cells with red and NIR radiation. One example is the treatment of myocardial infarction. The heart has been considered a post-mitotic organ lacking the capacity for self-renewal after injury. Surprisingly enough, human cardiac stem cells, in combination with bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, were found to reduce infarct size and restore cardiac functions after myocardial infarction.5 This positive effect can even be increased by irradiation of stem cells. 

Cancer PBMt has been shown to increase angiogenesis or arterial growth. This would contraindicate cancer and in our opinion PBMt should not be recommended for any person with Cancer unless and until research proves it safe. ARRC LED recommends NO PBMt for cancer until research suggests it safe.

With further studies this outcome may change. This review in Photomed Laser Surgery suggests the following: RESULTS: Although there are a few articles suggesting that PBM therapy can be detrimental in animal models of tumors, there are also many articles that suggest the opposite and that light can directly damage the tumor, can potentiate other cancer therapies, and can stimulate the host immune system. Moreover, there are two clinical trials showing increased survival in cancer patients who received PBM therapy. CONCLUSIONS: PBM therapy may have benefits in cancer patients and should be further investigated.






Surgical Recovery


Traumatic Brain Injury

Alzheimers Disease

Parkinson’s Disease

Spinal Cord Injury

Lyme Disease