Is photobiomodulation good for low testosterone? The answer is clearly yes if you’re a rat and a qualified yes if you’re a human being.
I last wrote about photobiomodulation (PBM) and testosterone in August 2018. At that time, I had found a study that showed regular PBM treatments increased blood levels of testosterone in rats. Since then, I’ve come across another study of rats [PDF] that showed PBM increased the weight of their testes, which probably has some connection to testosterone levels. Unfortunately, that study isn’t very relevant for us because the rats were exposed to light continuously for 70 days. Even if you wanted to spend 70 days in our PBM bed, we aren’t set up for such a booking.
Good for Rats, Good for People?
I have not yet been able to find studies of PBM’s effect on human testosterone. But that doesn’t shake my confidence in it. We’ve seen enough customers who claim improvements in vitality and focus that I think the effect is there.
Should you care about your testosterone level? Not if you are perfectly satisfied with your current competitiveness, stamina, strength, mood, and libido. Those are some of the things to which testosterone contributes in men. But if you feel any of these is off, then you may realize some improvement by raising your testosterone level.
A man’s testosterone level typically begins to decline after the age of 30. For many men, it’s what makes aging so difficult. The pharmaceutical firms that market synthetic testosterone are peddling a fountain of youth. But despite what it says in their advertising, testosterone supplements are not without risk. Testosterone treatments can increase your red blood cell count, which thickens your blood and puts you at risk of stroke or heart attack. It can also increase the size of the breasts or the prostate.
How PBM Works
Research has found none of those side effects in photobiomodulation. The way PBM may increase testosterone is by improving the health and vitality of leydig cells. Leydig cells, which are located in the testes, secrete testosterone (as well as two other androgens) into the blood when they are stimulated by leutinizing hormone, which is released by the pituitary.
A hormone stimulating the release of another hormone is kind of a complicated process. PBM, of course, simply energizes the leydig cells the way it energizes any other cells it reaches, by increasing the chemical ATP within the cells. Healthier leydig cells means better testosterone production when all the other elements are functioning the way they should. It’s completely natural.
It may sound like it would be more efficient to simply introduce more testosterone directly with a patch, injection, or rub-on gel. But that bypasses the leydig cells altogether and risks throwing the process out of balance, which is probably why testosterone supplementation can produce unwanted side effects. It also risks getting you thrown out of athletic competitions and disgraced. PBM is never going to leave you with synthetic testosterone in your blood.
Photobiomodulation for Low Testosterone
But here is the main point I want to make in this posting. In order for PBM to raise your testosterone level, the light has to reach your leydig cells. Fortunately, those cells are near the surface of the skin of your testicles, and as long as your testicles are uncovered, the light can reach them. But if you are covered, you’re going to get less benefit. Note that at Peak Recovery & Health Center, our PBM bed is located in a lockable room. You are in there by yourself, which gives you the privacy to disrobe completely so you can lie naked in the bed and get the full benefit. So if you’re concerned about testosterone, be sure to take off all your clothes the next time you climb into the PBM bed.
Why not book a session right now?
Photo: I am posed in the PBM bed. Note that I’m not getting the full testosterone benefit because I’m wearing trunks for the photo.