Can Red Light Therapy Help Increase Testosterone?
Testosterone is an often-misunderstood hormone. It is commonly - and inaccurately - referred to as the “male sex hormone”. It’s also associated with aggression, volatility, and the classic “macho man” persona - and wrongly so, according to experts. In fact, this misconception of testosterone has led to unfair stereotyping, and even controversial new regulations in sports. The reality is that, while testosterone is the main hormone responsible for the development of male traits, it plays a host of other crucial roles for both men and women. What’s more, low testosterone is a much more common issue than excess testosterone. In fact, it simply happens naturally as we age.
Treating low testosterone levels can be complicated, and even risky at times. Luckily, red light therapy is a promising way to boost testosterone naturally, safely, and with virtually no side effects. Before we get into how red light therapy can help, let’s take a look at why testosterone is so important.
Why Do We Need Testosterone?
You’re likely already aware that testosterone is responsible for the development of typically-male traits during puberty (thanks awkward middle school health class!). This of course includes:
- The development of the penis and testes;
- Facial and body hair growth;
- Deepening of the voice;
- Muscle size and strength;
- Bone size and strength;
- Sperm production and libido.
Did you know, though, that it plays a role in hair loss later in life as well as cognitive function (both equal in importance, we know)? It also affects ovarian function, sex drive, and bone strength in women.
What Are the Symptoms of Low Testosterone?
Low testosterone levels in men can result in:
- Low libido;
- Low sperm count and infertility;
- Decreased testicle size;
- Reduced muscle mass;
- Decrease in facial and body hair;
- Breast tissue development;
- Weak or brittle bones;
- Parchment-like appearance of the skin;
- Lowered concentration and brain fog;
- Irritability and depression.
While research in this area is unfortunately limited, it appears that a lack of testosterone in women can translate to:
- Reduced sexual desire;
- Lowered vaginal lubrication and orgasmic response;
- Fertility issues;
- Lowered concentration and mood (often misdiagnosed as a psychological issue);
- Decreased muscle strength;
- Loss of bone density;
- Weight gain;
- Sluggishness and poor cognitive functioning;
- Sleep disturbances.
What Are the Benefits of Increasing Testosterone?
Given the laundry list of symptoms outlined above, it’s clear that inadequate testosterone levels can have a profound physiological effect on people of all genders. Not only that, these biological issues can have a significant negative effect on one’s psychological well-being. And all too often these symptoms, particularly those associated with mood and cognitive functioning, are mistakenly treated as psychological issues. This can potentially lead those affected to spend a fortune seeking the wrong type of treatment.
Proper treatment to increase testosterone has been shown to:
- Increase muscle mass and strength;
- Decrease body fat;
- Strengthen bones;
- Improve memory;
- Improve overall mood;
- Increase libido.
What Are The Most Common Ways To Boost Testosterone?
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to treating hormone deficiencies, there are a few things you can do to boost your testosterone levels naturally.
Working out. There is some evidence to suggest that certain types of exercise can help boost testosterone levels. Weight-lifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) appear to lead the pack in terms of effectiveness.
Other types of exercise, however, have been shown to lower testosterone levels. Endurance training, for example, can up your cortisol levels due to the prolonged stress exerted on the body. Cortisol and testosterone tend to work against each other, with one increasing when the other decreases, and vice versa.
Changing your diet. Foods that are rich in vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium are believed to help boost testosterone. Some of these include tuna, shellfish, oysters, eggs, leafy greens, and beans, as well as milk and plant milk fortified with vitamin D.
Evidence also suggests that constant dieting as well as overeating can negatively affect your testosterone levels. It’s therefore recommended to maintain a diet with a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and good fats (and, let’s face it, this is just good advice in general).
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements. If you can’t get proper amounts of vitamin D, zinc, and magnesium through diet alone, supplements might help you achieve a better balance, and in turn, a higher testosterone count.
Using natural testosterone-specific supplements. You’ll have no trouble finding a slew of these products at your local health and nutrition store. Many include vitamins and minerals that are known to help boost testosterone, as well as other medicinal herbs and plants believed by some to be effective. But be wary: not only can they be quite costly, many brands are mostly filler with only trace amounts of active ingredients, rendering them effectively useless.
Testosterone replacement therapy. A more heavy-duty type of treatment, this includes doctor-prescribed injections, patches, topical creams, and pills. This option is usually reserved for people with genetic conditions and autoimmune disorders, those having undergone cancer treatments, and people who are transitioning. In other words, it’s rarely recommended for run-of-the-mill, age-induced low testosterone.
The reason for this is that there are quite a few risks and side effects involved with TRT. Some of these may include:
- Acne and other skin issues;
- Enlarged prostate, or growth of prostate cancer if already present;
- Blood clots;
- Sleep apnea;
- Growth of breast tissue;
- Increased risk of heart attack or heart disease.
It’s difficult to fully assess the risks of TRT, due to the fact that most of these effects could be attributed to other causes. Therefore, much of the data on TRT is inconclusive. However, the mere possibility of these potentially serious side effects is important to consider when determining the cost-to-benefit ratio of the treatment.
Red light therapy, on the other hand, has no known risks or side effects. But what exactly is it? Read on to shed some light on how red light therapy works and how it can help boost testosterone.
Red Light Therapy For Testosterone: What Are The Facts?
You might have heard the hype about red light therapy. It is, after all, making waves in basically every domain related to health and well-being. It may even sound too good to be true, like so many products being foisted upon us daily promising to improve our health, appearance, and lives.
There is no magic or pseudoscience involved in red light therapy, however. Its long list of benefits is 100% backed by peer-reviewed scientific data. And the body of research is growing by the day. Here’s a quick overview of what it’s about.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
It’s universally accepted that sunlight has an effect on our health. The same can be said for blue light emitted by our various devices. Red light therapy, also called photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy, works on the same principle, but with different effects.
Light in red and near-infrared wavelengths penetrate deeper into the skin than other lights on the spectrum. You can see the difference in this chart by the nonprofit Greenfacts. In fact, red and near-infrared light reaches all the way to the mitochondria of the cell. Here, it causes a biochemical reaction that allows it to use oxygen more efficiently to produce adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is known as the body’s energy currency; in other words, it shuttles energy throughout the body to be used for its various functions.
When energy is being synthesized and distributed more efficiently at the cellular level, it allows the various systems in the body to function more efficiently as well. This includes the hormone-producing endocrine system.
How Can Red Light Therapy Boost Testosterone?
Testosterone is produced mainly in the testicles (specifically in the Leydig cells) and the ovaries. It’s also produced in smaller amounts in the adrenal glands. Within these organs, cholesterol is converted to testosterone through a process called steroidogenesis. Recent research on mitochondrial function in Leydig cells demonstrates that “mitochondria must be energized, polarized, and actively respiring to support Leydig cell steroidogenesis”. As we’ve seen above, irradiation with red and near infrared light optimizes the use of oxygen within the mitochondria to synthesize energy in the form of ATP. Thus, red light therapy can help facilitate steroidogenesis and, ultimately, healthy testosterone production.
Red light therapy can also help improve the quality of life of people with low testosterone by mitigating some of the symptoms. In fact, some of the many proven benefits of red light therapy include:
- Increased muscle mass and strength
- Better athletic performance
- Improved cognitive function
- Improved mood
- Better sleep
- Hair growth
Is Red Light Therapy Safe? Yes, it is!
Unlike UV light, which despite its many benefits has well-known significant dangers such as sunburn and skin cancer, red light therapy has no such risks. Not only is it non-invasive and painless, it’s completely safe to use every day. In fact, it’s recommended to use it every day for optimal results!
Why Choose a Personal Red Light Therapy Device for Testosterone Deficiency?
If you are interested in red light therapy as a treatment for low testosterone - or for any number of health and well-being issues - a personal device is likely your best option. Unless you have free unlimited access to a facility that offers red light therapy, in-clinic or spa treatments can come with a hefty price tag. With your personal red light therapy panel, you get to enjoy all the benefits of a professional treatment, in the comfort of your own home, and without the high cost.
Why Choose Rouge Red Light Therapy?
We recently sent our Rouge Pro panel for third-party testing and compared our results to the competition’s. Rouge far outstrips our competitors in terms of energy output, power, strength and number of LEDs, and beam angle (a shorter angle offers more concentrated irradiation). You can see the results for yourself here.
Rouge red light therapy panels also come in a variety of sizes and price points, from our full-body Ultimate, for complete head-to-toe coverage, to the portable Tabletop for tackling - ahem - smaller body parts. Whether you’re looking to treat multiple issues at once, or simply wanting to boost your testosterone with red light therapy, Rouge has the right device for you. Take the step to better health and well-being today!