Have you ever heard of genomic instability?
If not, you’re not alone! However, the topic of genomic instability is essential for understanding how the cells work and how and why we age. So, in this article we’ll go over the broad and complex topic of genome instability, slowing down the cell’s ageing process and how we can support our cells by using red light technology.
Now before we get started with the genomic instability, we’ll have a look at what makes a genome stable. Genome stability is a feature of every organism to preserve and transmit genetic material from generation to generation, from cell to cell. This includes a replication of genetic material (DNA or RNA) and the repair of replication mistakes or damages of the DNA/RNA.
The increased tendency for DNA mutations (changes) and other genetic changes to occur during cell division. Genomic instability is caused by defects in certain processes that control the way cells divide. These defects may include mutations in certain genes involved in repairing damaged DNA or mistakes that don’t get corrected when DNA is copied in a cell. They may also include defects such as broken, missing, rearranged, or extra chromosomes. Studying genomic instability may help researchers understand how certain diseases, such as cancer, form. This may lead to new ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. (1)
Genomic instability, or Genome Instability, on the other hand, refers to a high frequency of mutations that are within the genome of a cell – damage(s) to the DNA. Now while it might sound scary at first, genomic instability is natural and one of the reasons why our body ages and is more prone to develop diseases or illnesses the older we get. (2)
Thankfully, we have an internal repair system of enzymes that can detect and repair most of the damage. This repair system is not perfect and sometimes the DNA is not repaired – leading to mutations. So, while our body is hard at work on its own in preparing damages and getting rid of things that don’t belong, we can help out in restoring and improving the genomic stability.
How can red light help work against genomic instability?
You often hear us talking about how red light technology “supercharges the cells”. And we’re not kidding! But to explain just how it works, we need to reach out a bit into the topic of light: The sun contains a full spectrum of light. Some light is visible to the human eye, and others are not. Visible light consists of a range of colors that travel in waves, which can be seen on the electromagnetic spectrum. Each color has a different and specific wavelength, frequency, and energy level, which affect its length and intensity. On one side of the spectrum is red light, which has the longest wavelengths and lowest frequency; on the other is violet light, which has the shortest wavelengths and highest frequency. Both red light and near-infrared (NIR) light fall within the wavelength range of 650-850 nm, with NIR light reaching deeper into the skin than red light, as its wavelengths are longer. This kind of light is shown by numerous research to be extremely beneficial to humans. (3), (4)
Visible red light and invisible NIR light penetrate the skin and act on the mitochondria to stimulate, recharge and supercharge our cells, to help them do their work and help slowing down the cell’s natural ageing process. (5)
So, to answer the question on how red light can slow down the cell’s ageing process:
Red light supercharges the cells by strengthening the mitochondria and improving the biochemical synthesis of adenosine triphosphate. Increased production of these energy molecules brings the cells back to life and provides the energy needed for cell synthesis and replication, repair of damaged cells and other mitochondrial functions and increases cellular activity. For more info on the topic of light and the wavelengths of light, check out our Blogpost.
The Mitochondria – The powerhouse of our cells
Mitochondria are located inside our cells. Some cells have several thousand mitochondria, while others have none. Muscle cells, for example, need a lot of energy, so they have thousands of mitochondria. In contrast, neurons (the cells that transmit nerve impulses) don’t need as many. Mitochondria take in glucose and oxygen from the food we consume every day, convert them into energy to help fuel our bodies for endless tasks like repair, rejuvenation, and daily performance. They produce energy, packaged as molecules of so-called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). This process is known as cellular respiration and is essential for our physical well-being and longevity. Therefore, keeping the mitochondria healthy is essential for our cells to work optimally. (6), (7)
Fuelling the mitochondria to reverse the cellular aging process
Over time, research has found that Photobiomodulation can have profound biological effects on humans. These effects have to do with our cellular metabolism, which is declining with age, with the body shutting down more, lesser energy and faster aging as a result. Therefore fueling and recharging our cells, and the mitochondria, is a valuable step towards slowing down the cell’s ageing process and therefore increasing the health span and longevity. Enabling the mitochondria to perform at their best level is mandatory to extend the health-span. When mitochondria are not operating efficiently, they produce less and less chemical energy used by the body, a higher number of free radicals escape, leading to the inevitable spiral of damaged cells. (8)
The process of slowing down the cell’s aging process is a huge field, and while we won’t deep-dive to far into the topic in this article, you can find more detailed information in our Blogpost.
For more in-depth information on the Mitochondria, check out our Blog Article.
(3) Multi-watt near-infrared light therapy as a neuroregenerative treatment for traumatic brain injury. April 2016
(4) Testing the Healing Potential of Light. Sep. 2017
(5) Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation. Apr. 2013
(6) Focusing on mitochondrial form and function. Jun. 2018
(7) The role of mitochondrial function and cellular bioenergetics in ageing and disease. Jul. 2013
(8) NAD+ metabolism and the control of energy homeostasis – a balancing act between mitochondria and the nucleus. Jun 2015