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Intranasal systemic photobiomodulation is the utilization of light energy within the 620nm-750nm (red light) range on the electromagnetic spectrum to irradiate the capillary-rich nasal cavity.

Red light has less penetrative potential than near infrared light (750+nm), therefore a majority of the photons do not bypass the blood capillaries but are absorbed instead.[1]

The tissue around the nasal cavity has abundant blood capillaries with relatively slow blood flow. Intranasal photobiomodulation improves oxygenation and leads to increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) levels in various tissues. [2]

Light energy absorbed by blood through the photobiomodulation process leads to an increase in nitric oxide (NO) release.[3]

Nitric oxide is one of the most important factors affecting microcirculation. This leads to increases in vasodilation which contributes to improved oxygen delivery to tissues – which is important for optimizing your health and sports performance.

The result of light-induced photodissociation of oxyhemoglobin also results in significant enrichment of local tissue oxygenation. [4]

The systemic effect of photobiomodulation on circulation could be a consequence of positive alterations in the membrane properties of red blood cells (RBCs). Absorption of red/NIR light affects hydrogen bonds, which could induce structural changes in RBC membrane proteins. [5]

This in turn, results in an improvement of RBC structure, ATP content and osmotic properties. [6]


[1] – Pitzschke, Andreas & Lovisa, B & Seydoux, O & Zellweger, M & Pfleiderer, Martin & Tardy, Y & Wagnières, Georges. (2015). Red and NIR light dosimetry in the human deep brain. Physics in medicine and biology. 60. 2921-2937. 10.1088/0031-9155/60/7/2921.

[2], [3] – Lohr NL, Keszler A, Pratt P, Bienengraber M, Warltier DC, Hogg N. Enhancement of nitric oxide release from nitrosyl hemoglobin and nitrosyl myoglobin by red/near infrared radiation: potential role in cardioprotection. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2009 Aug;47(2):256-63. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2009.03.009. Epub 2009 Mar 25. PMID: 19328206; PMCID: PMC4329292.

[4] – Stadler I, Evans R, Kolb B, Naim JO, Narayan V, Buehner N, Lanzafame RJ. In vitro effects of low-level laser irradiation at 660 nm on peripheral blood lymphocytes. Lasers Surg Med. 2000;27(3):255-61. doi: 10.1002/1096-9101(2000)27:3<255::aid-lsm7>3.0.co;2-l. PMID: 11013387.

[5] – Szymborska-Małek K, Komorowska M, Gąsior-Głogowska M. Effects of Near Infrared Radiation on DNA. DLS and ATR-FTIR Study. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2018 Jan 5;188:258-267. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2017.07.004. Epub 2017 Jul 12. PMID: 28723592.

[6] – Walski T, Dyrda A, Dzik M, Chludzińska L, Tomków T, Mehl J, Detyna J, Gałecka K, Witkiewicz W, Komorowska M. Near infrared light induces post-translational modifications of human red blood cell proteins. Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2015 Nov;14(11):2035-45. doi: 10.1039/c5pp00203f. PMID: 26329012.