Testosterone is an integral part of a man’s life- a steroid hormone, responsible for the development of the male reproductive system and secondary male characters like muscle and bone mass along with the growth of body hair. The fundamental functions of testosterone are testicular descent, spermatogenesis, enlargement of testes and enhancing sex drive. The regulation of these functions occurs only at a normal level of testosterone. Elevated levels of testosterone do more harm than good. After hitting the age of 30, there is a gradual drop in testosterone levels. This starts to manifest in the form of weight gain, low libido, loss of muscle tone and bone density. Decreased production of testosterone can also occur with certain medications, chemotherapy and onset of genetic disorders

All manner of therapies exist to increase testosterone levels, but they either take too long or come with adverse effects, sometimes even prostate cancer.

One such treatment modality is low-level laser therapy or red light. Infrared light has been widely accepted as the treatment of choice for muscle ailments and pain management. It usually produces effects in small, localized areas but it also impacts circulation of blood throughout the body

The axiom of red light

Red light works by increasing the concentration of calcium ions that stimulate generation of ATP inside the mitochondria of Leydig cells. ATP is the currency of energy utilized by the body. The generated ATP releases Nitric oxide, enhances motility of spermatozoa and aids production of testosterone. The other school of thought is that red light activates ‘OPSIN’ proteins. Opsins are photo-receptive proteins present in the testicles, eyes, and brain. Photo-activation of these testicular proteins stimulates the production of testosterone.

Blood cells

The efficacy of red light

Red Light is considered to be a safe therapeutic method for raising testosterone levels among men. UV light should be avoided as it inhibits production of ATP. Red light penetrates through to deeper layers of tissue and brings about changes in hormonal levels. One has to expose their testicles to red light while performing their favourite activity. Indulging in reading, chatting or talking to a friend over the phone. The exposure of wavelength 600-950nm is advised for about 5-15 minutes. However, over-heating the testicles can destroy sperm cells. A noteworthy rise in libido, erection and fertility has been observed through this treatment. The aim is to achieve desirable results from the light and not the heat. You must know that it may provoke a non-inflammatory response in blood or can cause coagulation disorder. These are the reported side-effects that may occur with chronic use.

All things considered

Currently, there are no FDA approved lamps for this purpose but considering the very low risk associated with the usage of red lamps, any safety-certified lamp can be availed of. Consumption of alcohol should be subordinated as alcohol affects the fertility of the sperm. Viagra shows a similar effect like alcohol, hence it shouldn’t be consumed during the course of red light therapy. There are other cardinal ways to increase testosterone levels like following a balanced diet, stress management, lifestyle alterations and a healthy routine to motivate oneself at work and at home. Anyone opting for this therapy should visit an expert. It may help considerably, to speak to your partner about the changes in your body and about emotional phases you may be going through. Remember that this is a manageable situation. All you need is an appropriate diagnosis.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP

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