Did you know that almost two-thirds of the population are deficient in Vitamin D? This is extremely concerning, as the functions that Vitamin D plays in our bodies are crucial for a healthy, functioning immune system and metabolism, and for bone strength, amongst so many other vital impacts. We wanted to investigate if we can use red light therapy to increase the production of Vitamin D in our bodies. This week’s blog will explore how we can optimize Vitamin D production with our devices.
By definition, Vitamin D is actually a hormone. Even though we can obtain Vitamin D through our diet (which is how we obtain all other vitamins), our body is actually able to synthesize Vitamin D following sun exposure, and it is activated by the liver and kidneys. The activated form of Vitamin D functions as a hormone in the body to regulate calcium metabolism. There are no other known vitamins that are activation process like Vitamin D before it can be used in the body.
What is Vitamin D required for in the body?
Absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorous for bone strength and bone building
Controls infections and supports immune health
Reduces inflammation in the body
Reduce the risk of depression
Support weight loss through increased calcium absorption which acts as an appetite suppressant and boosts a healthy metabolism
Due to the fact that majority of us have office jobs, that require us to be inside during daylight hours, we aren’t exposed to enough sunlight and therefore we aren’t able to produce enough Vitamin D for our needs. Our first choice at Mychondria would be to get outside at any moment possible during the day for natural sun exposure. We know that that isn’t always possible in certain places around the world, so we wanted to find an alternative when the natural option isn’t available.
Vitamin D is created in our bodies through exposure from Ultraviolet light, which comprises of short wavelengths and high energies. Whereas red light therapy uses light in the red and near-infrared regions of the light spectrum with longer wavelengths and lower energies. So, its clear that exposure to red light therapy would not be able to directly cause production of Vitamin D in our bodies, as it isn’t the right frequency of light that’s required for production.
But there is a mechanism in our bodies that can use red light therapy for Vitamin D production. The below image shows the wavelengths of light that we would be exposed to when exposed to sunlight at sunrise (left) versus sunlight at noon (right). Its clear from the sunrise image, that we would be getting far more longer-wavelength (near-infrared and red wavelengths – same as red light therapy wavelengths) and far less UV wavelengths. As the day goes on towards noon, and when the sun is directly above our heads, we get far more UV light – which is required for Vitamin D production.
Because our lifestyles are structure to be getting ready for work, or school or getting our children ready for the day, we rarely are exposed to the sunlight that is provided for us at sunrise, which has these red and near-infrared wavelengths of light. When we are exposed to this red and near-infrared light early in the morning, the melanin pigments in our skin would be activated in order for UV light to be absorbed later in the day. This is why our skin burns during the middle of the day, because we skipped the activation step which protects our bodies from UV damage.
Using your red light device, is therefore an easy hack that prepares the pigments in our skin for exposure to UV light and prevents burning. This allows for better UV absorption and longer exposure times without burning.
We loved hearing feedback from our customers:
One customer, a Brazilian woman that has been living in the Netherlands for 5 years, a place where people are not notorious for tans, noted that her tan was dramatically increased during the summer months when she used her red light device before UV exposure to boost her Vitamin D levels.
SO.. although red light therapy can’t directly cause Vitamin D production in our bodies, it CAN prepare our bodies in an extremely efficient and effective way to absorb UV light during the day when exposure is possible.
Written by: Caroline Bursey
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