“Penetrating red light is possibly the fundamental anti-stress factor for all organisms. The chronic deficiency of such light is, I think, the best explanation for the deterioration which occurs with aging. Enzyme changes, free radical changes, structural and respiratory changes are all involved as consequences of darkness stress.” Raymond Peat, PhD
“When I moved from Mexico, first to Montana and then to Oregon in 1966, I became very conscious of how light affects the hormones and the health. (For example, in Montana I experienced an interesting springtime shedding of body hair.) Many people who came to cloudy Eugene to study, and who often lived in cheap basement apartments, would develop chronic health problems within a few months. Women who had been healthy when they arrived would often develop premenstrual syndrome or arthritis or colitis during their first winter in Eugene. The absence of bright light would create a progesterone deficiency, and would leave estrogen and prolactin unopposed. Beginning in 1966, I started calling the syndrome “winter sickness,” but over the next few years, because of the prominence of the premenstrual syndrome and fertility problems in these seasonally exacerbated disorders, I began calling it the pathology of estrogen dominance. In the endocrinology classes I taught at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, I emphasized the importance of light, and suggested that medicine could be reorganized around these estrogen-related processes.” Raymond Peat, PhD, Aging Eyes, Infant Eyes, and Excitable Tissues
“In winter, there is cumulative damage to the mitochondria because of too few daylight hours to complete the rebuilding of mitochondria. Cortisol begins to rise as soon as there is darkness, regardless of sleep or waking. Artificial light, and its absence, clearly can determine the time at which cortisol begins to rise.” Raymond Peat, Generative Energy
“Recent findings suggest that the enzyme [Warburg] identified, cytochrome oxidase, is a key player in a new understanding of how the cell’s energy metabolism affects health and disease. And surprisingly they show that light has a profound effect on how the enzyme works — and could even be used to treat degenerative disease.” Nick Lane, Cell biology: Power Games (Nature, 2006)
“Light helps regulate the natural rhythms of the body and mind, and not getting the right kind of light or enough of it, can impact our health in surprising ways. Every organism on the planet has evolved under the day-night cycle, known as circadian rhythms. This natural time-keeper sets our biological clocks within our brains and organs so when these rhythms get disrupted it can have negative effects on sleep, moods and cognitive performance. Darkness reduces cellular activity and energy production resulting in the production of a variety of inflammatory substances, such as adrenaline and cortisol, necessary to compensate for the decreased energy production. These hormones interfere with metabolism leading to low thyroid function, weakened immunity, decreased blood flow to the digestive system and difficulty regulating blood sugar.” EastWest Healing, Can Light Therapy Work For You?
“In 1910, John Harvey Kellogg published his 200-page book Light Therapeutics, which included a large amount of information about the therapeutic usefulness of light therapy with incandescent light bulbs and arc lights. According to his book, light therapy can be effectively used for diabetes, obesity, chronic fatigue, insomnia, baldness, cachexia and many other health problems.” Vladimir Heiskanen (Valtsu), The Therapeutic Effects of Red and Near-Infrared Light (2015)
“Changes in the seasons have significant effects on our body function. Why do I feel depressed, have worse PMS, and poor energy during the winter? Why am I more prone to sickness when it’s cold and overcast outside? Seasonal changes, poor sleep quality, graveyard shifts, and hectic work schedules can take a toll on the body. Exposure to darkness has a major effect on our health. Light has a multitude of positive effects on our hormonal systems and the way we feel. Avoidance of the sun is recommended to “avoid” cancers of the skin. Such recommendation and modern habits create a society that is experiencing symptoms of light deficiency.” Rob Turner, Light is Right
“A lack of (red) light or vitamin A (source: beef liver, egg yolks) can contribute to a rise in serum cholesterol and slowed conversion of cholesterol into bile salts and pregnenolone. Conversely, if cholesterol isn’t available in the required amounts, the consequences are similar to when cholesterol is very high – decreased production of pregnenolone, decreased resistance, & steroid hormone imbalance.” Rob Turner, Protect the Mitochondria
“Have you ever noticed that you feel a little down in the winter months? Have you noticed your energy levels take a nosedive when the only sunlight you feel is on your cheeks as you hurry from the parking lot into the office on a cold winter day? You Need Light for Energy Darkness is as much of a stress on your body as poor food choices. Your cells thrive on bright light and make energy much more efficiently under those conditions. This is why most people feel so much better during the summer months. Sunlight and strong incandescent light stimulate the mitochondria in each cell to produce energy. Darkness and fluorescent light, on the other hand, cause the mitochondria to shrink and slow down energy production. When energy production slows down, adrenaline—a stress hormone—is produced. Adrenaline stimulates your liver to release stored sugar and also encourages fat cells to release fat into circulation in order to help produce energy. High levels of adrenaline can cause many side effects, such as anxiety, nervousness, cravings, fatigue and insomnia. The darkness of winter can also increase another stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol has the ability to break down your muscle tissue and store fat around your mid-section. This is not a good thing!” Tracie Hittman Fountain, Get a “Chicken Light” and Amp Up Your Energy!
“Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes progressive paralysis by destroying nerve cells and the spinal cord. It interrupts vision, balance and even thinking. On a suggestion from a colleague, Jeri-Anne Lyons decided to test how the disease responded to a radical therapy — exposure to a certain wavelength of light called near-infrared (NIR). “Never in a million years did I think it would help,” says Lyons, an associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), who studies the role of the immune response in MS.” Light as medicine? Researchers explain how (2013)