Red light, inflammation and vitamin D status - my current understanding (updated)
Photobiomodulation complements ultraviolet phototherapy.
Red light has been shown in studies to mitigate the harmful effects of UV on the skin, including the effects associated with photoaging. E.g., erythema, skin reddening, UV fingerprint mutations, gene regulation. (1.2)
Less known, while in my opinion more important, is the vitamin D and inflammation connection.
I became interested in the topic when I discovered this research:
2 lasers consisting of 660 (red visible) + 850 (Near Infrared) wavelength dosage of 3.4 J/cm2 and power density of 50-150 mW/cm and the a laser of wavelength 632.8 nm with a dosage of 3.1 J/cm2 for 9 minutes was applied to peripheral neuropathy patients and after the photo-stimulation the result was a significant increase in Vitamin D and Magnesium levels.
Among the 36 patients with Vitamin D deficiency, 23 got corrected with the deficiency after the photostimulation (by red and Near infrared light)
Additionally, Out of 33 with low magnesium 25 had a rise in Magnesium level after being photo-modulated and reached normal. (3)
This was strange to me because normally its Narrowband UVB (311-312nm) is responsible for elevating vitamin D by synthesizing vitamin D from cholesterol in the skin.
So I presented the research to my colleague shawn bean (famous biochemst/practitoner) in the USA, one of my first mentors)
This is what he told me.
"Inflammation and vitamin D status hold an inverse relationship. If vitamin D goes down, inflammation goes up. If vitamin D goes up, inflammation goes down But also, if inflammation goes down, vitamin D goes up and if inflammation goes up, vitamin D goes down."
I looked into the scientific data that supports this (below)
"As far as the chicken and the egg question of does vitamin D lower inflammation or does inflammation lower vitamin D concentration, we conclude RCTs show that improving vitamin D status modestly lowers most markers of inflammation in highly inflammatory conditions. However, it is possible that both mechanisms are at play." (4)
Red light is primarily known primarily to resolve acute inflammatory processes.
Theoretically, combining red light therapy with ultraviolet therapy could optimize vitamin D levels and lower inflammation more effectively than narrowband UVB monotherapy.
This is not medical advice. Please consult your medical professional before starting any protocol.
3. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, Volume 13, Issue 2, March–April 2019