Can Covid 19 be treated by Red Light Therapy ?

Red light therapy for Covid treatment is an exciting new frontier that researchers and Medical professionals are embracing. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world, causing widespread respiratory problems due to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This has touched us all, some far worse than others.

The search for effective treatments continues. A recent clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the benefits of Near-infrared LED photobiomodulation in combination with conventional therapy in COVID-19 patients.

The virus can trigger acute respiratory syndrome, leading to dense alveolar and interstitial infiltrates and pulmonary edema. The resulting severe hypoxemia causes significant alteration to pulmonary mechanics with reduced pulmonary compliance.

To alleviate these symptoms, researchers have explored various treatments, one of which is photobiomodulation therapy, which is red light therapy, also known as LLLT, with exciting findings.

This post will summarise the promising results of the study and discuss its implications.

What is PBM and how does it work ?

Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a non-invasive technique that has been shown to alter cellular and molecular metabolism, thus reducing acute pulmonary inflammation. The technique involves the use of near-infrared LED’s, which induces anti-inflammatory effects, such as the cytokines Interleukin 10 (IL-10), Interferon-gamma (INF-g), interleukin 1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-a).

PBM is particularly useful in the treatment of lung diseases, and several studies in animals and humans have shown promising results. The therapy is non-invasive and pain free.

What was this study trying to establish ?

The objective of the study was to compare the efficacy of PBM using near-infrared LED’s with conventional respiratory physiotherapy treatment in patients with COVID-19. The study aimed to reverse acute conditions, reduce hospitalisation time, and decrease the need for oxygen therapy.

For those more visual learners please watch this video where Professor Roger Sehult, MD explains the findings in easy understandable detail.

So what parameters and measures were used ?

The study included 30 patients, equally and randomly allocated into LED and control (CON) groups who were undergoing COVID-19 treatment.

Photographs showing the LED-therapy protocol (Right) and view of the open therapy wrap (Left) showing the array of LEDs emitting infrared radiation.

The LED group received near-infrared LED therapy using a special flexible vest with an array of 300 LEDs (at 940 nm wavelength) positioned in the patient’s anterior thoracic and abdominal regions. The total power was only 6 W, with a 15 minute irradiation time.

The CON group received conventional treatment (antibiotic therapy for preventing superimposed bacterial infections, and physiotherapy) and they were also wearing the belt, but with LED irradiation off. They had no knowledge that the LED Belt was not activated.

Various measures were conducted including Cardiopulmonary functions and blood count being monitored before and after treatment and the patients were treated daily for 7 days.

What were the results and findings ?

Although the pneumonia severity index (PSI) of the LED group was higher than that of the CON group, the LED group still showed better recovery, reinforcing the beneficial effect of PBM. The hospital stay time for the LED group was significantly reduced from 11.7 days to 8 days, and the time of pulmonary auscultation improvement was significantly reduced for the LED group.

The NLCR (neutrophil-lymphocyte count ratio) index, which is an initial prognosis of the disease severity risk of patients with respiratory disorders, showed a reduction of 53% for the LED group against 27% for the CON group, indicating the beneficial effect of PBM.

The LED group exhibited a significant improvement in maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP), indicating an enhancement in respiratory muscle performance and functional capacity. Additionally, the LED group exhibited a statistically significant improvement after treatment for all cardiopulmonary functions and hematological components.

Flow diagram showing the cohort distribution and the sequence of the stages of the protocol.

The results of the study showed that the LED group had a statistically significant improvement in cardiopulmonary functions, including Partial Oxygen Saturation, Tidal Volume, Maximum Inspiratory and Expiratory Pressures, Respiratory Frequency, Heart Rate, and Systolic Blood Pressure.

Moreover, the LED group had a reduction in hospital discharge time, and the blood count showed significant differences in the count of leukocytes, neutrophils, and lymphocytes.

The clinical trial demonstrated the beneficial effects of PBM in patients with COVID-19 symptoms, which corroborates other data reported in the scientific literature on the anti-inflammatory effects of this technique on lung tissues in both animal and human models.

In Conclusion

The results undeniably confirm that Red Light Therapy using near-infrared LED at the 940nm wavelength enhances the effect of conventional therapy on COVID-19 patients and presents a statistically significant improvement in their vital cardiopulmonary functions and haematological components. The power of statistical analysis of the results exceeded 80%, indicating a high level of confidence in the findings.

Where can I purchase ?

For those considering treatment, Leredd currently have the NIRFLEX flexible wrap as pictured below ready to ship in May 2023. This belt has 50 more Led’s than the model used in the trial and uses the 940nm and 850 NIR wavelengths.

NIRFLEX

First orders due to head out around second week of May 2023, with the first 100 pcs ordered online to receive the product at an introductory rate of just $699 , normal RRP of $1249 ! Pre order today to avoid missing out and paying more later.

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