Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss: Does It Work?




What is red light therapy for weight loss and how does it work? If you want more answers like this, then it is time that you stay tuned with this post.

We also call red light therapy low-level laser therapy. It is a noninvasive method for removing the fat cells from the body by using low-wavelength red light, which is not damageable at all.

Over the years, people have been inclined towards this method for fast and quick removal of fat from the body. In this post, Bontanny will shed light on some important aspects of red light therapy so that you can have a better understanding of this method easily.

What is Red Light Therapy?

 Definition and basic principles

Red light therapy (RLT) is a method of photobiomodulation that is not damageable at all. It includes different wavelengths of red light and red infrared light, which creates an impact on the body.

It is a special form of therapy that has become popular among overweight people. It also treats different health concerns among obese people. In this way, such people can easily aim for better health and reduce their complications as well.

 The science behind how RLT works on a cellular level

In this section, we will see how RLT works on patients. The purpose of this method is to make the red light come in contact with the fat cells. All of this happens under photobiomodulation.

In this scenario, the cells will absorb the light photons, which leads to the development of biochemical reactions as well. Below are some important aspects of this process:

  • Increased ATP production: RLT will increase the number of ATP molecules in the mitochondria. It provides energy to the body cells and has important roles in the overall body metabolism.

  • Improved circulation: RLT will trigger nitric oxide production, which will swell the blood vessels. It will increase the blood flow and enhance the supply of oxygen to the body cells and tissues.

  • Reduction in oxidative stress: RLT is important for lowering the oxidative stress on the body, and it happens due to the antioxidants in the cells. It protects the cells from undergoing damage often caused by free radicals.

  • Cellular repair and regeneration: RLT also increases fibroblasts and develops new skin cells, including collagen, which are good for the skin's radiance and making it youthful as well.

 Different types of light therapies and their uses

Not only the red light and near-infrared red lights are important for this method. There are different types of lights that we use for this method. Below, we are going to see their roles in this case!

  • Blue Light Therapy: Blue light is for treating skin problems, including acne, and kills bacteria that are not beneficial for the skin at all.

  • UV Light Therapy: Ultraviolet (UV) light therapy is beneficial for vitiligo and psoriasis patients.

  • White Light Therapy: This broad-spectrum light therapy is crucial for seasonal affective disorder, which helps in managing the circadian rhythm as well.

  • Infrared Light Therapy: Red Infrared light therapy is also crucial for treating pain effectively and aiming for tissue repair as well.

  • Green Light Therapy: Green light therapy also proves to be effective for different skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and melasma.

Historical Context

It is crucial to consider the historical context of red light therapy. For ancient years, this method has been common in medicine.

Even Egyptians and Greeks have acknowledged this method to be effective for its healing properties. They considered light as a medicinal way to treat different health concerns.

Also, in the 19th century, this method emerged as a fine usage of red light to use against numerous health problems. These wavelengths prove to be effective for the treatment of different health complications for patients.

For many years, this method has been effective for fixing skin problems, reducing fat from the body, and maintaining the metabolism.

Due to the vast historical background of red light therapy, we can say that such a method proves to be beneficial for different health concerns.

How Red Light Therapy Might Influence Weight Loss?

The theory behind RLT and fat cell metabolism

There is a strong connection between red light therapy and burning fat from the body. This theory relies on the impact of red light and near-infrared red lights on the fat cells.

These wavelengths penetrate the skin but don't damage it at all. The purpose of these wavelengths is to target the fat cells and burn them, which contributes to weight.

How RLT may affect adipocyte (fat cell) function

When red and infrared lights target the adipocytes, these trigger some biochemical reactions within these fat cells. As a result of this, these adipocytes release free fatty acids and contribute to reducing weight. These free fatty acids are for providing a quick source of energy for the body to perform perfectly.

The free fatty acids, after releasing from the adipocytes, go straight into the mitochondria. The mitochondria metabolize these free fatty acids so that the body can use them as a source of usable energy through the process of beta-oxidation. The weight reduction mainly depends on the release of free fatty acids. The more free fatty acids are released from the adipocytes, the more weight will be reduced.

The potential role of RLT in enhancing mitochondrial function

Now, we need to see that RLT is effective in boosting the mitochondrial function in the body. The purpose of mitochondria is to produce ATP for the body. So that the body can use this energy for the majority of its functions, when the function of mitochondria increases, it will enhance the metabolism of free fatty acids as well.

In this way, the energy will increase. It will ultimately help burn the calories as well. There is no doubt that the method of RLT is crucial to consider when it comes to cutting down weight. However, the impact of this method is different on patients.

Some patients might experience quick results, while others might have to wait. It will be beneficial to increase the chances of getting desired by relying on proper diet and exercise.

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Overview of major studies conducted on RLT and weight loss

In this section, we will see how different studies help us understand the relationship between RLT and weight loss. Below are some case studies that help us better learn about cutting down fat with the help of the RLT method.

  • Zhang et al. (2018):This study includes the impact of RLT on the waist of obese people. The patients interacted with RLT for a fixed period. The results showed that there was a considerable difference in the waist size of these patients.

  • Avci et al. (2013):This study focused on the impact of RLT on the body contouring of the patients, which proved to be more effective on the patients as compared to any other treatment available.

  • Liu et al. (2020):This case study shows that the influence of RLT on the adipocytes was enough to release free fatty acids, which later contributed to the reduction of body weight.

Results, findings, and their implications

The results shown by the abovementioned studies are sufficient to understand its impact on the waist and overall body fat of the patients. Also, there is a small role of genetics in the overall function of fat cells and metabolism. A person can easily rely on these case studies to learn about the impact of RLT on fat cells.

One important thing to consider here is that the effect of RLT is not quick; instead, it takes some time in general cases. It just serves as a method for implementing weight loss strategies in no harmful way to meet the body and fitness goals easily.

Limitations and criticisms of existing research

There have been some limitations regarding the research and overall scope of RLT, which are highlighted in this section. Take a look!

  • Small sample sizes:The majority of the RLT experiments and case studies involve a limited number of people, which can question the success of these experiments.

  • Heterogeneous methods:The protocols and equipment used to conduct these experiments are variable, which is why the results can be faulty.

  • Short-term outcomes: Most studies shed light on the short-term outcomes of the RLT method, and due to this reason, how it goes in the long term remains unanswered for many people.

  • Placebo effects: There are chances that the success of RLT lies in the placebo effect, which any patient can opt for during the experiments.

  • Publication bias: There has been a publication bias regarding the case studies of RLT, which can be concerning for drawing any conclusion out of it as well.

Benefits of Red Light Therapy Beyond Weight Loss

Skin Health and Anti-Aging

RLT has been a promising method that treats different health setbacks for many years. The reason behind its appreciation lies in red light therapy benefits. Let’s check them out below.

  • Collagen Production:RLT triggers the production of collagen in the body, which proves to be effective for the removal of wrinkles and fine lines on the face.

  • Improved Skin Texture: RLT also contributes to making your skin more youthful so that it can stay rejuvenated even in old age.

  • Reduction in Skin Blemishes:From removing blemishes and acne to keeping the skin from all sorts of problems, RLT is beneficial.

  • Wound Healing: RLT is also important for quickly healing wounds and reducing the inflammation in the body as well.

Muscle Recovery and Athletic Performance

We are going to see how RLT can help an athlete maintain their fitness and enhance muscle recovery in case of an injury or strenuous exercise as well.

  • Faster Recovery:RLT can reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery after intense workouts or sports activities.

  • Increased Blood Flow:This method is also effective for the increased blood flow in the body, which proves to be effective for athletes.

  • Pain Reduction: RLT is also great for reducing the pain and inflammation from which athletes often suffer in their careers.

  • Joint Health:There have been cases when RLT proved to be effective for patients suffering from orthopedic problems like arthritis.

Pain Relief and Inflammation Reduction

RLT can be a patient’s biggest asset when it comes to pain relief and reducing inflammation in different parts. Let’s see how RLT proves to be effective for this below!

  • Arthritic Pain:RLT has been exceptional as a noninvasive method to treat arthritis pain and inflammation among patients.

  • Chronic Pain Conditions:There also have been some cases when conditions, including fibromyalgia and neuropathy, were treated with RLT, and these showed great results.

  • Inflammatory Skin Conditions: RLT has been effective for eczema and psoriasis, which are extremely inflammatory skin conditions.

  • Postoperative Healing: As a result of invasive surgery, the patients can easily undergo RLT to aim for postoperative healing.

Comparing RLT to Other Weight Loss Methods

It will be better to compare RLT with other traditional methods and therapies for weight loss. Therefore, it is important to see what benefits set this method apart from the rest.

Diet and Exercise:

  • RLT vs. Diet: RLT cannot replace diet when it comes to weight loss. It only serves as a complementary method that cannot show positive results without diet. Without a proper diet for weight loss, even RLT cannot promise you the desired results at all.

  • RLT vs. Exercise: Exercise is also crucial and goes hand in hand with the RLT method. It is beneficial for reducing calories and increasing weight reduction on all counts. It is also important to know that you have to pair it up with exercise to achieve desired results.

Other Therapies:

  • RLT vs. Liposuction: RLT is not a surgical and invasive method like liposuction. However both serve the same purpose, but if you want to go for a less invasive method, then RLT is the right option. It might take time, but liposuction is a method that provides you with quick results for weight loss.

  • RLT vs. Pharmaceutical Weight Loss Medications: Medications for weight loss beat the RLT method in terms of showing results. These can still leave some side effects, but if taken through proper prescription, these won't harm at all.

  • RLT vs. Bariatric Surgery: Bariatric surgery becomes crucial when a person is too obese. It proves to be effective for abrupt weight reduction for the person. However, it can alter the lifestyle of a person later. RLT still cannot beat bariatric surgery

The Role of RLT as a Complementary Treatment:

By far, you are well aware of the RLT method’s position in the medical field as a complementary treatment for treating several problems. Below, we will be able to learn about its role as a complementary treatment easily.

  • Enhancing Fat Metabolism:RLT is effective for improving fat metabolism, which ultimately burns fat and contributes to weight loss for a person.

  • Supporting Muscle Recovery: RLT also recovers the muscles to a great extent so that the person undergoing RLT can indulge in more strenuous exercises by relying on it on all counts.

  • Skin Tightening: The method of RLT tightens the skin, which is effective for old age people, including the removal of fine lines and wrinkles as well.

  • Motivation and Well-Being: The RLT is also considerable when a person wants to target their muscles, skin, and body weight and aim for better fitness and a healthy lifestyle. This eventually leads to the motivation and well-being of a person.

Practical Tips for Those Considering RLT for Weight Loss

There is no doubt that RLT has several benefits for obese individuals and those suffering from orthopedic conditions.

Even for muscle recovery and reducing inflammation, RLT proves to be effective. However, since you are directly implementing this method on your own body, it is important to consider some practical tips before you decide to go through this procedure.

Majorly, RLT is used for cutting down weight. Therefore, for this purpose, it is important to consider professional help. If you have a medical history that can clash with RLT, it is important to ask for an expert about it on all counts. Also, if you are too sensitive to red and near-infra-red wavelengths, then it is crucial to know about your skin’s response to exposure to such wavelengths in the first place.

You should always start slow with the RLT and see if it creates a negative impact on your health and body or not. Other than this, to enhance the results of RLT, always pair it with diet and regular exercise. Try to fix your sleep and look for expert guidance to avoid any complications.

It is important to have realistic expectations of the process. The results of RLT vary as per the body type and body weight. Therefore, it is important to consider this factor and not let the process create a negative psychological impact on yourself at all.


We have tried to elaborate on different aspects of RLT on an individual’s body weight, joints, muscles, and skin.

Over the years, it has shown great results in treating major health concerns of a person. There has been great success shown by this process. Patients have shown complete satisfaction with RLT as well. However, there are some side effects of this process that you should consider.

In this post, you will be able to learn about different aspects of RLT and its comparison with other treatments available that serve the same purpose.

Hopefully, now you will have a clear idea about going for RLT or not in the future, whether it's for weight loss or muscle recovery.