Ketogenic diet

Ketogenic Diet and Red Light Therapy

The ketogenic (keto) diet is gaining popularity as an effective method for weight loss and improved health. This low-carb, high-fat eating approach provides umpteenth benefits like blood sugar control and better performance.

But did you know that combining the keto diet with red light therapy could greatly amplify the results?

Wavelengths in the red and near-infrared regions help our bodies produce more energy. Both red light therapy and keto power our cells and natural processes so our bodies can perform better and function more efficiently. The benefits are simply too good to pass up.

This article breaks down the synergy between the two.

How Red Light Therapy Amplifies the Effects of a Ketogenic Diet

Here's how exposure to red light amplifies the effects of the ketogenic diet and enhances the body's ability to use both sugar and fat for fuel.

Mitochondrial Substrate Selection

Before moving ahead, let's first discuss what mitochondrial substrate selection is.

Simply put, it refers to choosing which molecules to use for energy production. Just like cars run on different types of fuel like diesel and gasoline, mitochondria can use various substrates like fatty acids or glucose to generate energy for the cell. This substrate selection depends on what's available and what the cell needs at the moment.

So, what happens in a keto diet is that you eat fewer carbs, which ultimately causes the body to shift its primary fuel source from carbohydrates to fats.

That's because lower carbohydrate intake leads to lower blood sugar levels, preventing your pancreas from releasing much insulin. This decrease in insulin signals your body to stop using glucose (since it's already running low) and start using fats for energy instead.

As a result, mitochondria adapt their substrate selection to preferentially utilize the readily available ketone bodies that the body produces from fats during ketosis.

COX Enzyme

Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is an enzyme found in the mitochondria. Its main role is to facilitate the final step in the electron transport chain of mitochondria, where it helps convert the substrate into ATP, the cell's primary energy currency.

Similarly, in ketosis, COX oxidizes the ketone bodies, producing water and ATP in the process. While the exact mechanism is still under study, it's believed that red light therapy can stimulate COX and enhance its activity, leading to increased ATP production and improved mitochondrial function. This encourages healthy fat-burning and aids in weight reduction.

The Relationship Between Red Light Therapy and Ketogenic Diet in Terms of Hormones

Preliminary research demonstrates that red light can facilitate the production of primary sex hormones in both genders.

Early findings reported that pre- and postmenopausal women showed higher serum progesterone levels and improved synthesis of DHEA after undergoing a combination of a ketogenic diet and light therapy.

Regulates Hormonal Imbalance in Women

DHEA is a chemical in our body that plays numerous vital roles in health. It helps with cholesterol metabolism, which is a crucial step in the synthesis of important hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

As we get older, our DHEA levels naturally decline, adversely affecting hormone production. Stress can also cause such disturbances by promoting the production of cortisol, which inhibits DHEA synthesis.

A ketogenic diet and red light therapy can mitigate such stressors and support healthy DHEA and hormone production.

The ketogenic diet, by promoting ketosis, regulates blood sugar levels and treats inflammation. This, in turn, reduces the stress response and cortisol production.

On the other hand, red light therapy enhances mitochondrial function, which can help optimize the hormone synthesis pathway.

Together, these approaches maintain hormone balance and contribute to overall well-being.

Maintains Testosterone Levels in Men

It has been proven in recent research that following a ketogenic diet for 11 weeks can significantly increase testosterone levels in males through the same DHEA/cholesterol cycle, as mentioned earlier.

Additionally, evidence suggests that treatment with red light therapy can also boost testosterone production by enhancing mitochondrial synthesis.

Testosterone in males can be converted to estradiol (E2) as needed. Yet, it's crucial to maintain healthy testosterone levels to balance the testosterone/estrogen ratio and prevent issues like an enlarged prostate that may occur due to estrogen dominance.


Combining keto and red light therapy works wonders for your body. From enhancing the body's natural processes to improving energy production, they truly are a promising approach for obesity and weight loss. Current and future studies are exploring their potential regarding hormonal regulation.

If you're ready to take your ketogenic diet and lifestyle to the next level, consider adding a Hooga red light therapy device to your home so you can always get the natural light you need for optimal health.
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