Red Light Therapy for Cell Growth - Why NASA Uses Red Light Therapy?

Red Light Therapy for Cell Growth - Why NASA Uses Red Light Therapy?

Daniel Hall 29/04/2024
Red Light Therapy for Cell Growth - Why NASA Uses Red Light Therapy?

For decades, NASA has been involved in red light therapy research to improve the stay of their astronauts in space.  

NASA discovered that with the use of red lights, not only will their astronauts get better mood improvements, but it can even help with cell growth. This can help them heal wounds faster, get better muscle pain relief, and help with sleep cycles. NASA further researched and found that red light can be used to grow plants that act as a continuous food source for the astronauts. 

Want to know all the insights of the NASA research on RLT? Then, read on till the end of our blog. 

Check Out The Key points 

NASA red light therapy research has highlighted how RLT can help with skin cell growth. According to scientists, when astronauts are consistent with these RLT sessions, they can easily enhance wound healing and elevate their moods. 

That’s not all; as Earth and space have completely different timings, this can even help them improve their sleep cycles. 

Red light can also help produce plants that can be a continuous food source for astronauts. Frequent resupplies can be avoided, reducing excessive costs and space. 

Moreover, according to NASA’s research, red light therapy can also help reduce acne breakouts, fine lines, and wrinkles. 

There are more claims that red light therapy can cure many other problems. But, more research is needed to justify these claims and conclude!

However, red light research has shown positive results for astronauts in space missions so far. 

Photobiomodulation Explained

Photobiomodulation, previously known as LLLT (Low-Level Light Laser Therapy), is mainly a light application to reduce inflammation, promote tissue repair, or induce analgesia

According to NIH (National Institute of Health), photobiomodulation has striking benefits for inflammation and chronic pain. However, more research is being conducted to figure out how photobiomodulation can be useful for people. 

Some photobiomodulation benefits include improved cell function, reduced inflammation, proper blood circulation, tissue regeneration and repair, and muscle and joint pain relief. 

However, to get the most out of this therapy, ensure the sessions are conducted correctly and you follow all the instructions. 

Unlike many other treatments, photobiomodulation is not a thermal therapy; it works entirely with near-infrared and red light. 

However, a simple session is all that is required for post-operative and acute pathologies. However, if the situation is complicated, then you may require more sessions. 

Here are the possible applications of photobiomodulation: 

  • Fractures

  • Arthropathies

  • Myofascial pain

  • Lymphoedema

  • Degenerative disc disease

  • Rehabilitation

  • Tendinopathies

  • Neuropathies

Note: Before you go on taking any photobiomodulation sessions for any of these mentioned conditions, you’re required to seek the assistance of an expert first. They’ll let you know whether this therapy session is good for you. 

The Connection Between NASA and Red Light Therapy

In 1993, NASA discovered that red light therapy can do magic when growing plants. NASA carried out research and found that the right red light wavelengths can help stimulate plant growth. 

Just as they were doing their research, they came up with a revolutionary discovery that RLT can also aid in healing skin lesions. Later, in 2001, NASA discovered that red light therapy wounds, too, can be healed faster. 

Later, in 2008, NASA carried out more intensive research and figured out the effects red light therapy has on the stimulation of the cell’s mitochondria. Plus, it aids in enhancing the metabolism when used consistently. 

Moreover, NASA claims that shorter red light wavelengths can penetrate deeper into the skin, accelerating the overall healing process. 

In 2012, another study was published showing that RLT can do wonders when it comes to insomnia. Those who took red light therapy at a fixed time of the day and stayed on schedule had improved sleep cycles. 

In 2013, a study found that RLT can come in handy with better cognitive function. With the right amount of red light therapy, people can easily develop their cognitive functions and even suppress certain mental conditions. 

Lastly, in 2016, it was discovered that the positive impacts on the mitochondria allow red light therapy to reduce inflammation. This discovery helped people with arthritis and other pains. 

Today, NASA is still figuring out what more red light therapy sessions can do to bring betterment in medical research. And so far, they only have high hopes that this therapy can be one of the safest treatment alternatives of all time. 

Why Does NASA Use Red Light Therapy?

While NASA was on the go to figure out how red light therapy helps, they discovered tens of benefits it has to offer. 

So, NASA decided to implement these benefits for the betterment of the astronauts to boost their well-being, circadian rhythms, and plant growth for food production. Let’s know these reasons in more detail. 

1. Psychological Well-being

Space missions can be pretty isolating and stressful for the astronauts. And this can result in mental instability and depression at times. 

However, red light therapy has shown remarkable results in reducing depression symptoms by producing more serotonin (the hormone responsible for making you feel good). 

So, by bringing these RLT therapy sessions into astronauts’ daily routines, NASA aims to provide them with better mental health and even take them out of depression. 

2. Wound Healing

Wounds take much time to heal properly due to reduced gravity, altered immune function, and space radiation exposures. 

So, NASA thought of implementing red light therapy to accelerate and enhance the wound healing of astronauts. 

This can be done because RLT can promote blood flow and collagen production and reduce inflammation simultaneously. 

To get the most out of these therapies, astronauts must ensure that they are regular with the red light therapy sessions when there’s an injury. 

3. Regulation of the Circadian Rhythm

Compared to the time on Earth, space has rapid changes in the sunrise and sunset. And this can distort the astronauts' circadian rhythm, leading to sleep deprivation. 

Moreover, red light therapy helps mimic natural sunlight, which helps the body signal when to wake up and sleep. 

This is how astronauts can easily check their sleep quality and stay in a good mood and mental health. 

4. Keeps Astronauts’ Bones Healthy

Too much exposure to microgravity can degrade astronauts’ bone health with time! However, NASA discovered that regular and consistent use of this therapy could aid astronauts with this problem. 

Red light therapy can help with low bone density levels by stimulating the bone’s osteoblast activity. Moreover, this is responsible for the formation of your bones. 

So, if astronauts continue to use these therapies, they won’t face any bone health-related drawbacks. 

5. For Food Production

Space missions consist of a long duration; sending pre-packaged food can be expensive and require cargo space. So, to tackle this problem, NASA implemented red light therapy. 
According to NASA’s research, RLT wavelengths ranging from 600-700nm are ideal for photosynthesis (the process by which plants make food). 

NASA can now develop a more consistent and quick food source for astronauts and won’t have to worry about resupplies all the time. 

6. Improving Immunity

NASA discovered that astronauts can greatly benefit from red light therapy to improve their immunity. 

As they take red light therapy, the wavelengths can penetrate through their skin and elevate cell activity. This then enhances their mitochondrial levels, increasing the white blood cells in the body. 

Since white blood cells enhance the body’s immunity, astronauts can keep themselves fit and active during their missions. 

3 Studies That Support Red Light Therapy For Cell Growth

In 2020, a study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology revealed that red light therapy can work like magic to aid skin aging. According to the study, RLT boosts fibroblasts, giving your skin its structure. And this can help a lot, especially when using these therapy sessions to look young. 

Another study was released in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, which stated that RLT can help reduce fat when combined with regular exercise. In the experiment, two groups of 64 women were taken, and it was found that the group that took the RLT sessions and exercised got better and improved results. 

In 2016, another research paper was published that claimed the effects of RLT in elevating ATP production, which helped heal bones and fractures. Although this therapy can only benefit you if the fractures aren’t intense, if it’s a slight bone fracture, then RLT is enough to help you recover. 

Note: All these studies are well-researched and proven by researchers and scientists. However, more studies are being conducted to bring out more about red light therapies.  

3 Major Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy

Without question, red light therapy is one of the most advanced therapy methods that can aid you with many conditions. Here are some major benefits you can get with regular RLT sessions. 

1. Elevates Muscle Recovery

With regular and consistent use of red light therapy sessions, people can benefit a lot from muscle and tissue recovery. It does this simply by regenerating your damaged tissues and producing new and healthy tissues. 

These therapy sessions are best for sportspersons and athletes. Many experts recommend them as one of the most recommended treatment methods.  

2. Heals Skin Better

Red light therapy can visibly reduce your skin’s fine lines and wrinkles and increase collagen production. Further research even states that you get faster results when you stay on a fixed schedule with these therapies and combine other skin treatments. 

3. Improves Acne

Researchers claim that red light therapy for your skin can work magic to help with acne and increase keratinocytes. The studies have been quite promising, especially when dealing with mild-moderate acne issues. 

Understanding Microgravity and Wound Healing

In space, it takes time for wounds to heal because there’s no gravity involved. Scientists discovered that in space, the body cells don’t regenerate or grow as they should due to microgravity. 

When there’s a wound, the fluid around the area can’t move, hindering the healing process. This microgravity is also responsible for the slow immune system. 

So far, only red light therapy is one of the major solutions that can aid them in wound healing. However, scientists are still figuring out how to reduce these problems to help the astronauts in their space missions. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does Red Light Therapy Regenerate Cells?

Yes, red light therapy does aid with regenerating your cells, and when used right, it can work wonders. However, you need to ensure that you use authentic devices to get the proper results. 

Are There Any Applications Of Red Light Therapy For Astronauts?

Today, astronauts can use red light therapy as a natural and safe method to help them release their pains. It can heal wounds, help with joint pains, elevate the astronauts’ mental conditions, and reduce depression. That’s not all; red light therapy can improve sleep cycles, too! 

Is Red Light Therapy Good For Muscle Recovery?

Yes, several reports show red light therapy to be quite remarkable for enhancing muscle recovery. This therapy is ideal for athletes and sportspersons who are prone to injuries. And as red light therapy has no side effects, people can use it without worries. However, taking these therapies regularly and staying put with the schedules is important to get better results. 

Where Can I Get Red Light Therapy Treatment?

You should easily find red light therapy treatments in nearby clinics and spas. However, those can empty your pockets within a few sessions. So, if you want to cut down the budget, then it’s recommended to go for home devices. These are equally effective and can also save a lot of your cash. 

Does Red Light Therapy Boost Mitochondria?

Yes, red light therapy boosts your mitochondria and it does this by penetrating deep inside your tissues and activating your cells. When your cells get properly activated, this can eventually boost your mitochondria, enhancing your immune system. 

Bottom Line

NASA’s research on red light therapy has been revolutionary for astronauts and people worldwide. These non-invasive therapies easily elevate your cells to rejuvenate your skin, reduce acne breakouts, improve muscle recovery, and more. 

Plus, with regular use, you can get better mental well-being results and improve your sleep cycles. However, if you plan to get these therapy sessions, consult with an expert first, as they can help you pick the best treatment for your condition. 

And if you’re sure that it’s alright for you to take these therapy sessions, then ensure that you take the devices from authentic sources to get guaranteed results.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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