Near Infrared Light is Vital to Our Health
Solid-state LEDs are long-lasting and save energy, however critical components of the biological impact of these bulbs have essentially been ignored.
Physicists think that infrared radiation is just thermal waste, but from the viewpoint of a physician, this is absolutely not true. In the last 30 years there have been hundreds of scientific papers published on the beneficial aspects of near-infrared light. You cannot feel near-infrared as heat nor see it, but it has a major beneficial impact in terms of health especially for your eyes. Most importantly, IR helps prime the cells in your retina for repair and regeneration and helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Near-infrared is missing in common white & full-spectrum LEDs.
Some LEDs can act similar to a fluorescent lamp consisting of a blue LED (the energy pump) and fluorescent phosphors that cover the blue LED, transforming part of the blue light into longer wavelengths that create a yellowish light. The yellowish light combines together with the residual blue light to create white light.
This process causes LEDs to emit primarily blue light. Lower frequency blue wavelengths create ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). When generated in excess, ROS can cause damage. White LEDs lack the counterbalancing healing and regenerative near-infrared frequencies which are the wavelengths required for repair and regeneration. Blue has the highest energy in the visible part of the spectrum. The regenerative part of the spectrum is not found in the blue short wavelengths. It’s found in the long-wavelength part, in the red and the near-infrared.
Tissue regeneration and repair results from red and infrared wavelengths that are not present in LED bulbs.
Unfortunately, when using common white LEDs, you end up with increased damage and decreased repair and regeneration. We have increased stress on the short wavelength part and we have reduced regeneration and repair on the long-wavelength part. This is a serious problem. We don’t have this kind of light quality in nature. This has stress consequences in the retina and it has consequences in our endocrine system.
LED light exposure that is not balanced like natural, full-spectrum sunlight that is loaded with the critical red parts of the spectrum — is damaging to your biology.
Chromophores are molecules that absorb light. There’s an optical tissue window also known as a therapeutic window, that ranges from around 300 nm at the short end up into the range the eye can use, roughly 400-700 nm and continues up through the visual infrared to around 1400 nm, which is in the near-infrared range where light has its maximum depth of penetration in tissue.
Chromophores are found in your mitochondria and in activated water molecules. In your mitochondria, there’s also a specific molecule called cytochrome c oxidase, which is involved in the energy production within the mitochondria. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) — cellular energy — is the end product. ATP is the fuel your cells need for all of their varied functions, including ion transport, synthesizing, and metabolism.
Light is a Sorely Misunderstood and Overlooked Part of the Health Equation and Biological Energy Production
This is why the issue of lighting is so important, specifically at the mitochondrial ATP level. The cytochrome c oxidase, which is this light-absorbing molecule, is the last step before the ATP is finally produced in the mitochondria. Here we have this tipping point where light in a wavelength range between 570 nm and 850 nm is able to boost energy production, especially in cells when energy production is depleted.
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