How Red Light Therapy Assists With Weight Loss
You may already be familiar with all of the amazing benefits that red and infrared LED light has to offer for skin rejuvenation. But did you know that these types of LED can also be used for weight management and cellulite treatment? We’re going to explore the mechanisms behind this, and how it can work for you.
So what exactly is cellulite, and how does it occur? This extremely common condition appears mostly on the hips, thighs, abdomen and buttocks, displaying its signature lumpy, dimpled appearance. But what is happening below the surface? On one hand, subcutaneous fat accumulates below the surface, pushing the skin upwards. On the other, pillars of fibrous tissue that connect the skin with the deep muscle layer, pull the skin downwards. This is what creates the effect of peaks and troughs.
Around 90% of women and 10% of men will experience cellulite during their lifetime. There are many factors that can contribute to or exacerbate cellulite. These include genetics, age, hormone fluctuations, fluid levels, medications, ageing, and more. While cellulite may be more noticeable in those who are overweight, those who are lean and fit can certainly still experience it.
How can red light help
Cellulite removal can be extremely difficult. For some, it may not be possible to remove completely, but we can certainly manage the severity of its appearance. When you consider how to get rid of cellulite, LED admittedly does not spring to mind for most. But there is an incredible amount of research on the benefits of red or infrared LED, also known as photobiomodulation or Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), for fatty tissue, weight management, and cellulite treatment. So, how does it work? While reducing the amount of adipose fat will improve cellulite, it isn’t the only approach. The multi-faceted nature of red LED or LLLT creates a number of actions within tissue, all of which can contribute to cellulite removal. These include:
Increased collagen and elastin
Collagen and elastin proteins located in the dermis provide structural support, elasticity, plumpness and thickness to our skin. When these degrade, skin becomes thinner, saggy, and loosened. In this state, it displays any dimpling or unevenness below the skin much more prominently. Therefore, cellulite can be made less visible by improving collagen and elastin levels in the dermis. Red LED light is demonstrated to stimulate collagen and elastin production, through activation of the fibroblast cells responsible for producing these proteins . This leads to thicker, firmer skin with more structural integrity.
Insulin plays a huge role in weight management. When we eat, our blood glucose (or blood sugar) climbs. In response, our pancreas produces insulin, which is circulated throughout the body via our bloodstream. This insulin allows our cells to accept glucose, which then moves from our bloodstream to inside our cells to be turned into energy or stored as fat, depending on the cell type. However, some of our cells can become ‘insulin resistant’, meaning they don’t respond to the normal levels of insulin that would otherwise open up the cells and allow glucose to flow in. In response to this, the body produces too much insulin to try to compensate, which then leads to weight gain and high blood sugar levels. Causes of insulin resistance can include excess body fat, lack of physical activity, and stress. Insulin resistance is generally the primary underlying cause of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
We know that LED can have positive effects on cellular processes that affect ageing, such as collagen and elastin production, as well as ATP production among other things. So too can it influence cellular metabolism in relation to weight management. Studies have shown red LED and LLLT can also have a positive effect on weight management through glucose metabolism . Cellular responses to treatment included improved insulin signaling and glucose metabolism. Multiple studies now suggest that Photobiomodulation therapy may present a viable non-pharmacological, non-invasive option for improving localised fat accumulation, particularly when caused by insulin resistance.
Inflammation associated with weight gain
A common occurrence noted in those experiencing obesity and/or hyperglycemia (high levels of glucose in the blood) is elevated levels of inflammatory markers, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines. In simpler terms, metabolic disorders and increases in adipose fat can lead to inflammation in the body. This suggests that treatments designed to reduce inflammation may be beneficial for those experiencing metabolic concerns, such as weight gain, obesity, or insulin resistance.  Skin clinicians and health professionals often use near-infrared light for its anti-inflammatory benefits. It has an effect on mast cell degranulation, leukocytes and macrophages; which are all involved in our body’s natural inflammatory response. 
In conclusion, when seeking cellulite treatment, a therapeutic option that provides a multitude of benefits and physiological effects may be best. LED not only improves cellular metabolism and insulin resistance, but reduces inflammation and boosts collagen and elastin to the skin, firming the tissue for a smoother effect. You can also enjoy the array of other benefits that LED offers at the same time, including improved brightness and texture, reduced pigmentation, improved healing capacity, and better skin health overall. Aesthetic Bureau is proud to offer one of Australia’s only full body LED devices. This means you can visit one of our partner clinics and receive a complete full body experience that treats all areas with LED simultaneously. And the best part? There is no such thing as too much LED exposure – you can enjoy as many treatments as your heart desires throughout your journey towards optimal skin health, reduced cellulite, and healthy weight for life.
Aesthetic Bureau devices are proudly Australian made, certified (ISO 13485:2016) and TGA approved. If you wish to learn more about our Xen LED, you can reach us via 1300 858 711 or
email@example.com, or click here to find a Xen clinic near you.
References Photodynamic and photobiological effects of light-emitting diode (LED) therapy in dermatological disease: an update
 Infrared photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy improves glucose metabolism and intracellular insulin pathway in adipose tissue of high-fat fed mice
 Photobiomodulation therapy decreases free fatty acid generation and release in adipocytes to ameliorate insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes
 Photobiomodulation reduces abdominal adipose tissue inflammatory infiltrate of diet-induced obese and hyperglycemic mice
 Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation