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Certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation ranging from red to near infra-red irradiation (∼ 600 to 1000 nm) directly increase ATP-levels in the tissues, mainly by activating the cytochrome c oxidase (Cox), the mitochondrial respiratory enzyme. One important mechanism seems to be the photo-dissociation of nitric oxide, which can bind to Cox, inhibiting its ability to bind oxygen.
This fact was known to ancient Hindus and has been incorporated into the Hindu culture as Surya Namaskar. The exposure to the red light of the sunrise and exposing all the body to such red and near IR irradiation while doing the yogic posture exercises keeps the body healthy.
The wavelengths from 600 to 900 nm pass through blood and water in tissue more easily than other wavelengths. About 35% of the energy in this range is absorbed by a specific "proton pump" (cytochrome c oxidase, CCO, "complex IV") in mitochondria. The light at 4 specific wavelengths "kick-start" the CCO pump into producing more cellular energy, ATP.
The most relevant wavelengths are 600-1000nm, red light and the penetrating shorter wavelengths of near-infrared radiation.
Visible red light doesn't penetrate tissue very well, but near-infrared does that quite well. If near-infrared is directed to the skin, the power seems to decrease 1000-fold by every 2-3 centimetres.
The health effects of red light and near-infrared radiation - Red and near-infrared light are a "window" of wavelengths that are able to pass through tissue up to 1 inch deep. ). Red and near-infrared have beneficial effects on cells by "kick-starting" them into immediately creating more ATP (cellular energy) and increasing DNA and RNA activity.
Heat lamps have long been used to reduce pain. It was believed the heat provided a benefit, but now we know the near-infrared portion of the spectrum of heat lamps provides more benefit than the heat of the far-infrared.
Male and female pattern hair loss - Hair growth can be increased by 15%by use of infra-red and Red light therapy.
Red and Near Infra-red light Therapy for hair fall and Dandruff
The UV (ultraviolet) radiation wavelength - 290 - 400 nm
The visible light wavelength - 400 - 760 nm
The IR radiation wavelength - 760 - 3000 nm
The IR (A) radiation wavelength - 760 - 1440 nm
The cytochrome C oxidase is the terminal enzyme of he respiratory chain in eukaryotic cells mediating the transfer of electrons from cytochrome C to molecular oxygen. It is also considered as photo-acceptor an photo-signal transducer in the region of visible and IR-A region. This reactivity is due to four redox active metal centers in the enzyme - Cua, CuB, heme-a and heme-a3 , all of which have absorbency in the red to IR-A range.
Certain wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation directly increase ATP - levels in the tissues, mainly by activating the cytochrome C oxidiase (Cox), the mitochondrial respiratory enzyme .
From the above graph it is evident the maximum absorbance of the red light occurs at 620, 680, 760 and 825 nm. Thus red to IR-A part of the spectrum increases DNA synthesis. The redox cycle in cytochrome C - oxidase is CuA → heme a → (heme a3-Cu B) → O2 electron transfer within Cytochrome C Oxidase proceeds rapidly. The only rate limiting step is electron transfer between heme a → (heme a3 -CuB )pair. The irradiation intensifies exactly this electron transfer stage within the enzyme. The irradiation makes more electrones available for the reduction of the oxygen in the catalytic center of the cytochrome C oxidase.
The red and near IR irradiation has a protective effect on the human body. The irradiation with IR light for example during sun light is a natural process whereby the cells are protected against the solar UV radiation. Thus at present day level of knowledge, the stimulating action of visible red to near Infra-red Irradiation of the optical spectrum on the cytochrome c oxidase has a protective function on cells against the harmful effects of γ - rays (gamma rays), or environmental pollutants and also UV spectrum of sunlight.
ATP is not only an energy currency inside cells, but it also is a critical inter-cellular signalling molecule. The extra-synthesis of ATP in isolated mitochondria and intact cells under irradiation of red light and near IR light leads to release of the molecule as messenger molecule. Thus the irradiation could be used a sa relacement for growth factors. This is called photobiomodulation.
The IR - A radiation penetrates rather deep into the tissues (skin) called as optical window of the skin or near IR window into the body.
Tiina I. Karu - Multiple roles of cytochrome C oxidase in mammalian cells under action of red and IR-A radiation. LIFE. 62(8), 607-610, August 2010