An image of a woman's belly, showing a healthy gut.

From Inside Out: Red Light Therapy's Influence on Gut Health

Around 2400 years ago, the Greek physician Hippocrates said ‘all disease begins in the gut.

While we now know that’s not quite so accurate, the evidence does suggest that many chronic metabolic diseases do start there and these can affect the whole body.

Poor gut health can cause inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, depression, and other conditions. While those are the worst case scenarios, common symptoms can include digestive symptoms (gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn), fatigue, and stress, low mood, or anxiety.

With that in mind, finding a solution that helps to reverse the damage is pivotal. This is where red light therapy comes in, as the power of light can provide a holistic way to help improve gut health.

 

Why Is Gut Health So Important?


The gut’s abilities go far beyond digestion as it’s a complex ecosystem that is sometimes referred to as the ‘second brain.’

It contains a network of neurons and neurotransmitters known as the enteric nervous system (ENS) that communicates with the central nervous system (CNS) through the gut-brain axis.

Due to this, the gut can affect mental health and bring on symptoms of anxiety or depression. It can have negative impacts on your physical health too. It can lead to nutritional deficiencies, a weakened immune system, inflammation, skin problems, and weight management issues.

That’s not to mention the main result of an imbalanced gut which is the inability to digest food properly. When in good health, the gut helps to maintain proper overall function through the regulation of the gut microbiota and the production of vital compounds like short-chain fatty acids.

 
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These acids are produced by the fermentation of dietary fibers in the colon and serve as an energy source for colonocytes. They also help to maintain the actual integrity of the gut barrier, regulate immune responses, and manage inflammation.

Gut health is so important because all of these factors are at play when it’s not acting as it should, potentially bringing on inflammation (which can lead to chronic conditions), an inability to support the immune function, and a miscommunication with the brain.

 

Immune System


The gut and immune system go hand-in-hand, with many of the body’s immune cells residing in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue which sits within the intestinal lining.

This area of the body has specialized immune cells too. These interact with the gut microbiota and antigens in the intestinal environment and can tell which substances are harmful.

When needed, immune responses can be initiated. In contrast, when the gut-associated lymphoid tissue and overall lining and microbiomes aren’t up to scratch, the immune system can be compromised.

 

Digestion


The gut is the primary location for food processing, nutrient absorption, and waste elimination. When the food reaches this stage, after going through the mouth, stomach, and intestine, a healthy gut is able to digest the remains properly while making sure the nutrients are broken down effectively and absorbed by the relevant bodily functions.

Human enzymes can’t break complex carbohydrates, fibers, and other components of food down on their own - it has to go through the usual process in the gut. To do this in the most optimum way, making sure the nutrients are used to fuel key functions, the gut has to work properly. This links to the gut being a smooth passage for the food and waste going through the digestive system.

The health of the gut can even affect motility too as any dysfunctions could cause delayed gastric emptying or intestinal transit which leads to discomfort, bloating, and constipation.

 

The Impact Of Red Light Therapy On Digestive Health

 
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How Red Light Therapy Works


Red light therapy (RLT) uses wavelengths of light that sit between 620 nm and 750 nm on the visible spectrum. These penetrate beneath the skin and reach the cells, stimulating various biological processes.

While this isn’t a new form of therapy, it has become a lot more accessible and well-known over the last decade or so. As a result, it’s now used by a range of people - from celebrities looking to improve skin texture and acne scarring to competitive athletes aiming for an effective way to treat muscles post-workout.

It was actually NASA who once propelled the power of light into the public eye, as they discovered the profound healing potential during a space mission.

They realized that astronauts exposed to certain light wavelengths experienced accelerated wound healing. When this piqued their interest, they began looking into why.

After completing scientific studies, NASA researchers uncovered that red and near-infrared wavelengths could stimulate the production of adenosine triphosphate which is a key energy source for cells, promoting tissue repair and regeneration.

When these findings became publicized, the medical community embraced light therapy and it then became a go-to for many.

While red light is beneficial for gut health, it has proven to be effective for a whole range of other ailments and conditions too.

 

 

Can Red Light Therapy Influence Your Stomach?

 

It absolutely can. The stomach is part of the gastrointestinal system which also includes the intestines, colon, and gut.

When an issue strikes in any area within this system, it can leave people feeling extremely uncomfortable, bloated, and even stressed or anxious.

Red light therapy is a helpful holistic tool that has been shown to reduce inflammation and have a positive effect on the gut microbiota. The treatment can start by addressing problem areas which then creates a much better environment for good bacteria to thrive. Healing can then begin in the area at an accelerated rate, ensuring the gut and stomach are back up and running as soon as possible.

Another benefit of red light therapy is it can work wonders for stress. This is one of the causes for the gut and stomach to see damage, including other factors like traveling, changes in your routine, eating a low-fiber diet, and not exercising enough.

When an RLT device is placed against the skin, the wavelengths stimulate the production of new mitochondria - the powerhouses of our cells. This reduces the number of free radicals (unstable molecules that damage cells, proteins, and DNA) in our bodies and protects us from the damages of stress (a huge cause of gut or stomach issues!).

So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your stomach and gut health consider the use of red light therapy. It’s non-invasive, safe to use, and affordable.

 

The Benefits of Red Light Therapy for Your Gut

 
Image of the internal organs of a man highlighting the digestive part or the gut.

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Improved Digestion

 

Our body converts the foods we eat into their simplest forms and these are then broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. Nutrients can then be carried to the cells.

When the digestive system isn’t working correctly, signs like pain, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating can be displayed.

This is where red light therapy comes in as this can stimulate the mitochondria in the cells which promotes growth and repair through the electron transport chain.

In a study on mice from 2019 which looked at whether light can alter the microbiome, red and near-infrared light was found to potentially alter the gut microbiome in a potentially beneficial way. 

When this is improved upon, the digestion function can work properly and the uncomfortable symptoms can be alleviated.

 

Reduced Inflammation

 

When the gut isn’t working as it should, this can lead to inflammation which can feel incredibly uncomfortable.

Well, light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut. Researchers found the reduction may be due to the ability of photobiomodulation to “reduce oxidative stress and increase antioxidant capacity.”

Red light has been hugely beneficial for a range of ailments, conditions, and even for post-workout recovery due to its anti-inflammatory elements. This therapy reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while upregulating the anti-inflammatory cytokines.

As a result, this can contribute to lower oxidative stress which is a major culprit behind an unstable gut! It increases local circulation too and blocks the production of prostaglandin.

Prostaglandin is a main component in the prompting of the inflammatory response, with its biosynthesis contributing to the signs of acute inflammation. Red light lowers the production of these chemicals.

So not only can red light wavelengths reduce the stressors of inflammation, but it can help this to heal at an accelerated rate too.

 

Balancing The Gut Microbiome

 

Having a healthy and balanced microbiome lowers the chance of issues occurring as there’s a much better environment for bacteria to thrive - making inflammation and damage less likely to occur.

The gut microbial composition is extensive and complicated but it all lends to a smooth in-and-out system for digestion and other functions. When something is off, it can disrupt this entirely.

For example, if the gut barrier isn’t as it should be, this can allow harmful substances to pass through the intestinal lining and trigger immune responses and inflammation.

Red light wavelengths have been shown to promote tissue repair and wound healing which could strengthen the gut barrier and prevent leakage of any toxins and pathogens into the bloodstream.

 

How To Use Red Light On Your Stomach

 
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Targeted Vs Full-Body Therapy

 

Over the last decade, the healing powers of light have become a more viable treatment option for athletes, celebrities, and people in the know. In turn, this has led to at-home devices being more readily available - in all shapes and sizes.

There are differences and you should opt for one that suits your needs best.

If you’re looking for a full-body treatment, buying a much larger panel device (full-body) could be better for you. If, however, you’re looking for something portable that can be used on multiple areas of your body, a smaller device like the MOVE+ Pro could be the one for you.

A targeted device gives a much more tailored approach as you can focus on specific areas, whereas a full-body therapy device may not reach or provide as much light to your gut.

The Move+ Pro, Kineon’s red light therapy device, means you can utilize red light therapy hands-free around your stomach or lower gut. This is perfect for on the go, while you're completing chores around the house, or when relaxing.

If you are looking to focus on multiple areas, accessories like extender straps can help to reach larger surface areas like the back, shoulders, and hips.

Regardless of which red light therapy device you use (although we are biased…) follow any safety precautions recommended by the manufacturer. If you’re aiming to treat gut health, it’s always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment.

 

Frequency And Duration

 

Red light therapy should be used consistently for gut health. This safe and effective treatment can be used every day for 5 - 15 minutes per day or you could start your journey by using it three to four times a week and building this up over time.

The best thing to do is to integrate it into your weekly routine, so it becomes a habit and something you remember to do as often as possible. After all, daily sessions of 10-20 minutes will reap you much better results than doing an hour-long session every few weeks.

One of the major benefits of red light is that it’s a non-invasive treatment method that utilizes low-level wavelengths of light and is safe and effective in its approach so you can use it daily if you please.

It’s important to remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach as with any kind of treatment, as each body is unique and will respond differently. With red light, it takes time and consistent effort to see improvements so stay patient and persistent.

P.S. Our customers report an 80% reduction in pain within 1-4 weeks!

 

How To Get Optimum Results

 

Like with any form of treatment, red light therapy can’t work miracles - especially so if you’re not engaging in healthy practices.

You have to be helping your gut to recover rather than hindering the process, so make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can actually delay recovery in many areas of the body so drink the required amount daily.

Nutrition can also be fundamental to gut health as eating a diet that lacks fiber can make that area even angrier. Instead, incorporate legumes, whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and fruits into your diet.

Staying hydrated, using red light therapy, and eating a more fiber-rich diet is a great way to get your gut health back on track.

As for gaining optimum results, stay consistent with the treatment and keep track of your feelings, soreness, and movement ability, or generally how your gut feels as you progress through the course of treatment.

While some people could see results take place in just a few days, others might need to use the device for a few weeks before improvements feel noticeable.

If you have any concerns, contact your medical professional to assess your individual situation.

 

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About Kineon

Bringing the latest advancements in enhanced red light therapy for home use. Our mission is to get you back on your feet and moving pain-free.

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