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How I'm Experimenting with Infrared Light Therapy for My Gut Microbiome

Recently, I've been experimenting with the FlexBeam device, which utilizes both red light and infrared LEDs. Remarkably, this wearable device emits no EMFs and has the capability to penetrate up to 10cm within the body. While 10cm might not sound like a significant depth for reaching organ systems or tissues, it's more impactful than one might initially believe. My curiosity piqued, I decided to test its effects specifically on my gut.

To provide context: Photobiomodulation (PBM) is defined by the National Institute for Health as the use of red or near-infrared (NIR) light to stimulate, heal, and restore various physiological processes, and to address damage resulting from disease or injury. Scientific literature indicates interesting findings on how the gut microbiome reacts to red and NIR light therapy. For instance, one study demonstrated that applying photobiomodulation as low-level laser to the abdomens of healthy mice significantly altered their gut microbiome. This alteration was more evident when NIR light (808nm) was used multiple times per week compared to a single treatment with red light. Furthermore, the study highlighted a 10,000-fold increase in the beneficial bacterium Allobaculum after two weeks of NIR light treatment.

Aligning with these findings, subsequent research has underlined the significance of the light wavelength on the effectiveness of PBM when it comes to gut microbiome health. The idea posited was that PBM might first influence the inflammatory response in mice, which subsequently impacts the gut microbiota, given the strong link between inflammation and microbiome health.

A third study hinted at potential shifts in the human microbiome toward strains correlated with a healthy gut when exposed to PBM. This includes an increase in Akkermansia muciniphila, Bifidobacterium sp., and Faecalibacterium sp., and a decrease in the Firmicutes:Bacteroides ratio, often skewed in those with metabolic syndrome.

With my keen interest in enhancing digestion and gut health, I've embarked on a personal experiment. Using the FlexBeam — which emits red light between 625-635 nm and infrared light at 815 nm, closely matching the effective 808 nm from the mouse study — I aim to gauge its impact on my digestion and overall gut health. Given the specifications of the previous study, I plan to use the device five times weekly for three weeks before evaluating the outcomes. The FlexBeam's infrared LEDs possess an impressive irradiance of 100mW/cm squared, which is of primary interest to me due to the emphasized benefits of infrared over red light.

I'm genuinely excited about this self-experiment, and while I intend to seek some testing alongside my anecdotal observations, I look forward to updating you on the results. It's worth noting that, given the variables at play, this is more of a personal exploration than a rigid protocol, and the findings will be uniquely tailored to my experience!

1 Comment

I am 62 years old and still enjoy the thrills of distance running, obstacle course running, softball and weight lifting. I use infrared regularly to help recover from the micro damage that occurs while performing. As we know, the older we become the more time it takes for physical recovery. Infrared.

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