The human hormone balance is a complex scientific topic.
The interrelationships of hormones, basic physiology, and overall human health are currently heavily scientifically researched all around the world.
Right now, research is looking at how red light therapy affects the thyroid, one of the most important hormone glands in the human body.
In this article, we will be focusing on what the science says about red light therapy and its effect on thyroid health.
What Does Your Thyroid Do?
When fully functional, the thyroid regulates the balance of many downstream hormones.
Without a properly functioning thyroid, for instance, your body cannot optimally create:
- Stress hormones that make you feel awake, such as adrenaline
- Hormones that are involved with feeling well, sexuality, and fertility, such as testosterone, which helps both men and women feel strong
- Hormones involved with kidney function
Thyroid hormones are even involved in growth during puberty, such as the growth of your bones for instance, and much more.
Is Red Light Therapy Good For Thyroid?
Initial research has shown that red light therapy improves your overall health if you’ve got a common thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism and thyroiditis.
In some cases, red light therapy can even help patients reduce or eliminate their need for levothyroxine - a commonplace thyroid medication.
Of course, the precise effects and outcomes in terms of hormonal balance and health affected by red light therapy are still being studied.
What is exciting, however, is that there seems to be a strong connection between light exposure (in this case, through photobiomodulation) and overall hormonal health.
Many people experience insufficient light exposure in their lives nowadays, which can contribute to thyroid problems in many cases.
Hence, red light therapy is a perfect tool if you’re sitting indoors very frequently.
Does Red Light Therapy Help Hormones?
Research has also emerged on the effect red light therapy has on hormones.
A 2016 study showed that testosterone therapy is an effective, natural tool for hormone health in men for balancing and improving testosterone levels.
This randomized, placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted in 2016 by the University of Siena in Italy, in which 38 men with diagnosed low sexual desire were analyzed.
One group of men received red light therapy treatments in the morning, while the other group did not receive any red light therapy.
The group of men treated with red light therapy increased T levels significantly and attained higher sexual satisfaction in addition.
In comparison, the control group that did not receive red light therapy found no increase in testosterone.
The red light therapy group experienced a huge increase, from about 2.1 ng/ml to 3.6 ng/ml, in only 2 weeks.
To put that number in perspective, that’s a whopping 70% increase in testosterone in only 2 weeks.
What makes these findings important is that testosterone, a sex hormone, plays an important role in the body.
In men, it is said to regulate the sex drive (libido), bone mass, fat distribution, the size of muscle cells, overall strength, and the production of red blood cells and sperm.
You might not know, however, that women also produce small amounts of testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands.
Even for women, that testosterone is important.
Testosterone is also a building block for other hormones.
In both sexes, for instance, a small amount of the circulating testosterone is converted into estradiol, a form of estrogen.
For female reproductive tissue and bone mass growth, and maintenance, the “female” sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, closely work together.
Both hormones also influence behavior.
One study shows that red light therapy elevated levels of “dehydroepiandrosterone” (DHEA).
DHEA is essential for the synthesis of sex hormones and the production of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
When women aren’t near their ovulation, they rely on the adrenal production of DHEA to maintain progesterone levels and prevent estrogen dominance.
In essence, higher DHEA helps you feel and perform better as a woman, even though you might not be in your "cycle high”.
What these studies suggest is that red light therapy does have an important positive influence on hormonal health in both men and women.
If you would like to know how red light therapy can aid in muscle growth and performance, click here.
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