Like plants absorb sunlight in order to perform photosynthesis, the human body also possesses certain enzymes in our cells, called cytochromes, that absorb light. Cytochromes (specifically Cytochrome C Oxidase) is the people’s version of chlorophyll and are the molecules targeted during low-level laser therapy.
Cytochrome C Oxidase is found in the mitochondria of cells, the organelles that are responsible for cellular metabolism and giving the cell energy in the form of ATP. The absorption of light by Cytochrome C Oxidase (along with other molecules such as oxygen) activates the oxidative respiratory chain, the chemical reaction that allows the mitochondria to produce ATP.
Low-level laser therapy works a lot like the common supplement CoQ10. CoQ10 is an antioxidant found naturally in the body that assists 95% of cells in producing ATP. However, instead of taking a daily supplement to boost this metabolic process, the cold laser directly assists ATP production by injecting a localized area with light.
In damaged and inflamed cells, there is an increased amount of nitric oxide that inhibits the oxidative respiratory chain by preventing oxygen from being able to bind. This slows down the ATP production and causes a host of problems such as premature cell aging, malformation, and cell death. Healing cannot take place when the body’s cells don’t have enough energy.
Studies show, light also affects cells by promoting circulation via relaxation of the smooth muscles surrounding blood vessels, repairs blood vessels, increases fibroblast, macrophage, and mast cell function, affects nerve conduction, increases the metabolism of feel-good chemicals (endorphins, acetylcholine, and serotonin), boosts immune system response, and increases the synthesis of DNA and proteins at the cellular level.
Macrophages are a type of white blood cell that engulfs pathogens, clears out aging or dead blood cells, and removes cancerous cells. The cold laser boosts the amount and increases the function of macrophages to improve the waste and toxin removal process of the body. Laser therapy also boosts chondrocyte and osteocyte production, which are the cells necessary for the formation of new cartilage and the regeneration of bone. An increase in fibroblasts results in the repairing of collagen, an important protein found in connective tissue. When the light hits keratinocytes and endothelial cells, the epidermal lining of the skin is replenished and the inner lining of new blood vessels is able to be constructed. And the effect of the BioFlex laser on Schwann cells results in nerve tissue regeneration and the re-establishment of sensory and motor electrical impulses.
Hopefully, this has convinced even the most skeptical of the powerful effects of low-level laser therapy on cellular functions of cells.