Can Red Light Therapy Cause Cancer? A Closer Look at the Science

As fitness enthusiasts, we’re always looking for new ways to optimize our workouts and recovery. And one trend that’s been gaining popularity in recent years is red light therapy. This treatment involves exposing the body to red or near-infrared light, which is believed to stimulate the production of collagen, reduce inflammation, and improve muscle recovery. But with any new treatment comes safety concerns. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the science behind red light therapy and whether or not it can cause cancer.

A closer look at red light therapy

To understand whether or not red light therapy can cause cancer, we need to first look at the type of light that’s being used. Red and near-infrared light, which make up the majority of the light used in this therapy, are not known to be harmful to human cells. In fact, these wavelengths of light have been shown to have a variety of health benefits, including improved blood circulation, reduced pain and inflammation, and improved skin health.

However, there are some concerns about the potential for red light therapy to increase the risk of cancer. This is because red light therapy can stimulate the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are molecules that can cause damage to DNA and other cellular structures. This damage can potentially lead to mutations that can increase the risk of cancer. However, the research on this topic is limited and inconclusive.

One study found that red light therapy did not cause any DNA damage in skin cells. Another study published in the journal Lasers in Medical Science found that red light therapy actually reduced the growth of cancer cells in vitro. However, these studies are limited, and more research is needed before we can draw any firm conclusions about the safety of red light therapy and its potential effects on cancer risk.

That being said, it’s important to note that red light therapy is generally considered safe when used as directed. Most studies have found no adverse effects from this therapy, and it’s been used for decades in a variety of applications. However, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment or therapy, especially if you have a history of cancer or are predisposed to the disease.

Can red light therapy cause eye damage?

In addition to concerns about cancer risk, some people may also be worried about the potential for eye damage from red light therapy. While it’s true that exposure to high-intensity red light can damage the retina, the light used in red light therapy is generally not intense enough to cause harm. That being said, wearing eye protection during red light therapy sessions is still a good idea, especially if you’re using a high-powered device. Here, at Arsenal Health + Fitness, we encourage users to wear goggles during red light therapy sessions.

Red light therapy benefits

That being said, in general, we firmly believe that the benefits of red light therapy far outweigh any potential concerns. Extensive research has shown that red light therapy has numerous positive effects on the body, such as promoting cellular rejuvenation, reducing inflammation, and enhancing overall well-being.

With its non-invasive nature and proven efficacy, it has gained popularity as a safe and effective treatment option for various conditions. Therefore, we confidently recommend incorporating red light therapy into your health and wellness routine for optimal results.

Arsenal Health + Fitness in Arvada, CO has an infrared sauna in the recovery center.


So, can red light therapy cause cancer? The short answer is that we don’t know for sure. While there are some concerns about the potential for red light therapy to increase the risk of cancer by stimulating the production of ROS, the research on this topic is limited and inconclusive. That being said, red light therapy is generally considered safe when used as directed, and most studies have found no adverse effects from this therapy.

If you’re interested in trying red light therapy, be sure to book time at our recovery center. As always, be sure to prioritize your overall health by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

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