Photobiomodulation Research

There are over 4,000 studies on LED Light Therapy, LLLT, now called Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMt).   Below we break Photobiomodulation research into 4 generic benefits, followed by research on 12 conditions and finally at the bottom of the page several additional studies are highlighted:

4 Systemic Benefits of Photobiomodulation

  • Aesthetic Benefits: Collagen thickening of 138-211% is reported in studies suggesting that photobiomodulation may improve skintone for some and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.  Green is a very powerful surface energy that may be effective for bacterial and viral conditions and it has been shown in studies to actually outperfrom red/NIR for wound healing.

  • Cognitive Benefits: LED Light Therapy, particularly Near Infrared, has been shown in research to be extraordinary for helping people with brain injuries or in cognitive decline. CTE’s and TBI seem to respond well to Near Infrared energies in the brain.  Numerous reports of veterans with PTSD find improvement, and as well cases are reported where Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease sufferers improve to the point where they can again speak, recall and comprehend.  As Dr. Mercola states photobiomodulation with Near Infrared light may be a powerful mediator for the ‘tsunami of future Alzheimer’s patients’ that are expected to flood the nation as baby boomers become elderly.

  • Performance Benefits: Athletic performance has been shown to be enhanced by photobiomodulation in all the right ways.  Athletes seem to increase single rep max (strength), total reps prior to failure (endurance) and total reps within a given period of time (speed).  It goes without saying that an athlete who is stronger, faster and has more endurance will be more successful.  We anticipate that PBM will be a staple for every professional and high level elite athlete.  In fact the ATP system is used by professional franchises, universities and every branch of the US military.

    In addition to the performance enhancing benefits of LED Light Therapy research suggests the athlete is protected during competition from fatigue and injury.  This ‘preconditioning’ has also been suggested to help pre-surgical candidates.

  • Wellness Benefits: This category of benefit is too broad to begin to touch in a few short words.  Generally speaking people are finding reductions in pain and inflammation from conditions like arthritis, neuropathy, injury, surgery and even neurological issues.  People are reporting that their allergies are releasing, their sleep is improved and their energy is better.

Photobiomodulation Research:

12 Common Diagnostics

Minor Aches and Pain

Pain is reduced via PBMt’s analgesic affect on nerve fibers, reduction of inflammatory cytokines and circulatory (healing) benefit.

CONCLUSION:  Post Surgical:  We conclude that PBMt is effective in decreasing pain intensity and post-surgery inflammation in patients receiving total hip arthroplasty.

 2018 Dec;33(9):1933-1940. doi: 10.1007/s10103-018-2558-x. Epub 2018 Jun 16.

CONCLUSION:  Low level laser therapy with the suggested dose range significantly reduces pain and improves health status in chronic joint disorders, but the heterogeneity in patient samples, treatment procedures and trial design calls for cautious interpretation of the results.


Weight Loss

Red / Near Infrared photons in the right wavelengths and intensity have been shown to ‘punch holes’ in the walls of fat cells. Post treatment movement (vibration/exercise) then evacuates fat from the cells, shrinking the cells reducing weight and size.

CONCLUSION:  Improvements in body mass, BMI, body fat mass, lean mass, visceral fat, waist circumference, insulin, HOMA-IR, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and ANP in both groups were demonstrated. Only the Phototherapy group showed a reduction in interleukin-6 and an increase in WNT5 signaling. In addition, it was possible to observe a higher magnitude change for the fat mass, insulin, HOMA-IR, and FGF-21 variables in the Phototherapy group. In the present investigation, it was demonstrated that exercise training associated with LLLT promotes an improvement in body composition and inflammatory processes as previously demonstrated. The Phototherapy group especially presented positive modifications of WNT5 signaling, FGF-21, and ANP, possible biomarkers associated with browning adiposity processes. This suggests that this kind of intervention promotes results applicable in clinical practice to control obesity and related comorbidities.

 2018 Aug;33(6):1245-1254. doi: 10.1007/s10103-018-2465-1. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

CONCLUSION:  Our results demonstrated for the first time that phototherapy enhances the physical exercise effects in obese women undergoing weight loss treatment promoting significant changes in inflexibility metabolic profile.

 2015 Oct;47(8):634-42. doi: 10.1002/lsm.22395. Epub 2015 Jul 29.

Inflammation & Auto-immune Disease

Red / Near Infrared photons in the right wavelengths and intensity have been shown to ‘punch holes’ in the walls of fat cells. Post treatment movement (vibration/exercise) then evacuates fat from the cells, shrinking the cells reducing weight and size.


Energy/Mitochondrial Function

Current aging theory suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction (damaged energy centers in the cell) are a root cause of age related diseases. PBMt cleans the mitochondrial respiratory chain and merges small worn out mitochondria into ‘Giant Mitochondria’. It is kind of like replacing an old worn out 4 cylindar with a new V8.


Detoxification of Waste and Free Radicals

PBMt detoxifies waste and free radicals that damage optimal cellular function. This ‘cascades down into and benefits nearly every tissue, organ and system in the body’.


Nerve Function and Repair

PBMt is a potential superstar for the aging brain and neuromuscular diseases. Research on Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, TBI, CTE is more than compelling as has been our experience in practice.


Circulation and Nutrient Transfer

PBMt relaxes arterial walls throughout the entire body and builds new arteries that may improve blood flow both near and long term.


Brain Health TBI, CTE, Stroke, Alzheimers

by improving circulation, nerve function and mitochondrial finction in the brain, PBMt has been shown to have profound benefits on conditions like Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, PTSD, TBI, CTE, and general mood and wellbeing.


Skin and Aesthetics

Collagen increases of 138 – 211% and tightening of the Elastin protein layers means PBMt reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles in clinical trials. A full body system might be likened to a Facial for the whole body.


Hair Regrowth

through circulation and nutrient transfer to the hair shaft, which may result in improved thickness, luster, color and in some cases even regrowth.


Athletic Performance

PBMt has been shown to improve an athlete’s speed, strength, power and protect the athlete from damage that happens during intense competition. This is why the ARRC ATP system is used by the NFL, MMA, Premier soccer, Cross fit champions and soon to be in the NBA



PBMt has been shown to accelerate healing of nerve, muscle and skeletal injuries and preconditioning with PBMt prior to surgery is shown to improve surgical outcomes.


The ARRC LED is running clinical trials on our ATP system for Pain and Recovery, Athletic Performance and how emotional resiliance is affected by a whole body system (specifically PTSD for Veterans). Below we have categorized a photobiomodulation research topics by condition as a reference for your benefit. We recommend the NIH website for controlled, peer reviewed and published photobiomodulation studies to get what may be the best pure science. Manufacturer based studies are frequently skewed to the biases of the manufacturer and the products they sell.

Below are studies found on the NIH website linked to specific conditions affected by PBMt.

When you click the links below you will be taken to supporting research for that condition on the National Institute of Health website. The righthand sidebar on the NIH website shares similar studies for that condition. To go deeper into research on a specific condition you can either click onto similar studies or perform a search on the NIH site search bar at the top of the page. These are medical studies with terminology that can be difficult for most. If you are not familiar with medical terms, you might choose to read the Conclusion at the bottom of each page first.

If you have any questions on photobiomodulation, or would like to compare full body LED Light Therapy beds, please call the ARRC LED at 855.502.2772. In addition please take a moment to join the discussion by opting in to our community portal. This will give you access to videos, podcasts, future research and current feedback from researchers like Dr. Hamblin, Dr.’s that own the ATP system and a broad range of wellness, spa and recovery center owners world wide.

This says it all.

Read what researchers from Mass General, Harvard and Boston University conclude about LED Light Therapy. 2.8. Downstream cellular response

There have been a large number of both animal model and clinical studies that demonstrated highly beneficial LLLT effects on a variety of diseases, injuries, and has been widely used in both chronic and acute conditions (see Figure 7). LLLT may enhance neovascularisation, promote angiogenesis and increase collagen synthesis to promote healing of acute (Hopkins et al. 2004) and chronic wounds (Yu et al. 1997). LLLT provided acceleration of cutaneous wound healing in rats with a biphasic dose response favoring lower doses (Corazza et al. 2007). LLLT can also stimulate healing of deeper structures such as nerves (Gigo-Benato et al.2004), tendons (Fillipin et al. 2005), cartilage (Morrone et al. 2000), bones (Weberet al. 2006) and even internal organs (Shao et al. 2005). LLLT can reduce pain (Bjordal et al. 2006a), inflammation (Bjordal et al. 2006b) and swelling (Carati et al. 2003) caused by injuries, degenerative diseases or autoimmune diseases. Oron reported beneficial effect of LLLT on repair processes after injury or ischemia in skeletal and heart muscles in multiple animal models in vivo (Ad and Oron 2001; Oron et al. 2001a; Oron et al. 2001b; Yaakobi et al. 2001). LLLT has been used to mitigate damage after strokes (in both animals (Lapchak et al. 2008) and humans (Lampl et al. 2007), after traumatic brain injury (Oron et al. 2007) and after spinal cord injury (Wu et al. 2009).

Beneficial tissue effects of LLLT can include almost all the tissues and organs of the body.