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Green Light Therapy Benefits: What The Science Says

Last Reviewed on July 1, 2024

Unlock the transformative benefits of green light therapy: from easing chronic pain to enhancing your mood, find out how this cutting-edge treatment could elevate your daily wellness routine!

Are there benefits to using green light therapy?

The short answer, yes.

In a number of studies, green light therapy devices have shown success treating everything from inflammatory skin conditions and migraines to pain relief and mood enhancement [1, 2, 3, 4].

In this article, we’ll discuss what green light therapy is and what its science-backed benefits are.

If you’re looking for a non-invasive treatment to improve wound healing, reduce dark spots, or provide pain relief – green light therapy may just be the way to go!

What Is Green Light Therapy?

As mentioned, green light therapy is a form of low-level light therapy or photobiomodulation. It has been shown to:

  • Boost mitochondrial function, stimulating cell growth and repair [5]
  • Release endogenous opioids (which are part of the body’s built-in analgesic system) to provide lasting pain relief [6]
  • Promote fibroblast activity, increasing collagen production [7].

Green light wavelengths, typically 495 – 570 nm, penetrate the skin’s surface and interact with cells in our bodies. On a cellular level, green light exposure reaches the mitochondria and stimulates adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production via cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) [5].

Mitochondria are the “energy powerhouses” of our bodies that play a crucial role in cell growth and repair. In essence, the more mitochondrial activity there is, the healthier our cells are.

Woman receiving green LED light facial treatment

Green light treatment has the following 10 benefits:

  • Improves skin health (especially for inflammatory skin conditions)
  • Speeds up wound healing
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Increases fat loss
  • Reduces cellulite appearance
  • Promotes muscle growth
  • Improves oral health
  • Improves male fertility
  • Reduces pain (acute and chronic)
  • Helps reduce seasonal affective disorder (SAD) symptoms

We discuss these benefits of green light therapy in greater detail below.

9 Green Light Therapy Benefits

Before we go any further, it is clear that green light therapy is 100% safe to use. It is a non-invasive treatment that’s shown immense benefits for patients suffering from several ailments.

We reviewed a number of studies, and the patients in these studies reported little to no adverse effects.

Let’s take a closer at the benefits of green light:

Skin Health

Green light therapy may help promote healthy skin and may have a positive impact on age-related skin issues. Studies have shown that exposure to green wavelengths increases the growth and migration (movement) of skin cells, which is crucial for collagen production, skin repair, and wound healing [8].

In another study, researchers found green light to stimulate the release of nitric oxide, a molecule responsible for vasodilation (the widening of our blood vessels) – which improves blood circulation. While not as effective as red light, it still had positive effects [9].

What this shows is an improvement in cell health and repair, which may result in smoother skin – especially when combined with red light therapy.

Green light therapy devices have also been used to treat skin-related inflammatory diseases, such as eczema and psoriasis. Researchers found green light to reduce inflammation in the skin [10].

One interesting study found green light therapy to potentially have protective effects against UV light. Cells that were exposed to green light had a higher survival rate and lower amounts of free radicals [11]. 

Just a note, though, that the above study looked at cell cultures. Additional research is needed to determine if the protective effects carry over to humans.

Bar graph comparing cell viability under different light treatments

Wound Healing

As mentioned, green light has positive effects on skin cells, promoting cell growth and rejuvenation.

In one study, researchers investigated the impact of green LED light therapy on wound healing in mice. After 7 days, the mice that received LED therapy had significantly smaller wound sizes than those that didn’t. These mice also had higher levels of fibroblasts [12].

Plus, its ability to stimulate fibroblasts (cells responsible for producing collagen), even in high glucose environments, makes it a potential option for treating diabetic wounds [7].

Fibroblasts play an important role in the wound healing process. They break down clots, create new tissue, and close the wound [13].

Hair Growth

You might already be familiar with using red light therapy for hair growth.

But, interestingly enough, one study found green light (513 nm) to be more effective than red light (629 nm) and blue light (465 nm) in re-growing hair in mice with androgenetic alopecia (AGA).

Researchers found using green-light LED micro-needle patches to help hair follicles enter the anagen phase (which is when hair grows) quicker and more effectively. They also found more collagen and new blood vessels under the scalp – both of which are important for hair health [14].

That said, more human studies are needed before we can conclusively say if green light is better than red light (the “gold standard”) for hair growth.

Fat Loss

Green light therapy may aid in fat loss through its potential effects on fat cells. When green light penetrates the skin, it targets adipocytes (fat cells), triggering certain biological processes. Fat cells become temporarily perforated (i.e. there are holes in the cell membrane), leading to the release of lipids from the adipocyte cells. This leads to smaller adipocytes, i.e. less fat.

One study found 532 nm green laser light to:

  • Reduce body weight by 1 kg (~2.2 lbs)
  • Reduce waist circumference by 2 in
  • Lower body mass index (BMI) by 2 points
  • Reduce body fat mass by 1.1 kg (~2.4 lbs)

More importantly, participants reported significant improvements in quality of life, body satisfaction, and body appreciation [15].

As a result, green light therapy may be a promising non-invasive weight loss treatment.

Based on the above study, using low-level laser therapy twice weekly for 6 weeks might provide the best results for weight loss.

Cellulite

As mentioned above, green wavelengths may target adipose tissues to trigger fat loss – which may provide benefits for those with cellulite.

In a double-blind study, 68 patients (34 in the treatment group, 34 in the control group) underwent 30-minute treatments 3 times a week for 2 weeks.

56% of those that received 532 nm green light experienced a reduction in cellulite, measured by improvements in Nurnberger-Muller Scale scores. These patients also reported a reduction in thigh circumference, body weight, and BMI [16]. 

In other words, green light therapy may be a promising new treatment for cellulite.

Closeup of cellulite on thighs

Muscle Growth

While more research is needed, green light therapy has shown promising results in promoting muscle growth. It works by increasing 1) the number of satellite cells (responsible for muscle repair and hypertrophy) and 2) IGF-1 levels (a key factor in muscle growth) [17].

In another study, 532 nm green light was found to increase the time rats’ muscles were able to remain under tension, i.e. it helped keep the muscles strong and didn’t let them get tired quickly.

However, researchers found 808 nm near-infrared light to be better at helping muscles relax and not stay stiff after workout [18].

As a result, a combination treatment may provide the best results for those looking to improve muscle growth and recovery.

Oral Health

Green light therapy has shown promising benefits for oral health and dental care.

In one study, shining 532 nm green light on Dental Pulp Stem Cells (DPSC) significantly improved cell proliferation and migration [19]. DPSCs are special because they can turn into various types of cells and can heal tissues. This makes them super important for healing dental injuries.

Essentially, using green light after a dental procedure may speed up the healing process, meaning less downtime for you! 

In another study, researchers investigated the impact of 532 nm green light on orthodontically-induced inflammatory root resorption (OIIRR), which is a fancy way of saying the tooth root starts to wear away because of the inflammation caused by moving the tooth .

Green light therapy reduced not only the amount of damage but also the number of damaged spots on the tooth root. It outperformed 650 nm red light and 940 near-infrared light [20].

When you get braces or any orthodontic treatment, sometimes the roots of your teeth can get a little damaged due to the pressure. This damage is called orthodontically-induced inflammatory root resorption (OIIRR).

Male Fertility

While the research on using green light therapy for male fertility is still limited, there are some promising results.

In one study, researchers found 532 nm green light to increase sperm mobility in fish, which may help increase fertilization rate [21]. This finding was confirmed by another study in mice [22].

Sperm approaching egg, conception illustration, medical visualization

Pain Relief

Green light therapy has demonstrated promising results in reducing pain across a number of studies.

In one study, green LED light significantly increased paw withdrawal latency (a measure for pain threshold). This increase in pain threshold lasted for 4 days after treatment, and the rats didn’t seem to get used to the light, i.e. no tolerance developed. This reduction in pain was even observed in rats with nerve damage!

Interestingly, when researchers used naloxone, a drug that blocks the effects of opioids, the rats “lost” their pain-relieving benefits. This indicates that green light likely releases endorphins, the body’s natural “painkiller” [3].

Clinical trials involving patients suffering from fibromyalgia – a chronic condition that causes pain and tenderness throughout the body – have also shown immense benefits. Not only did it significantly reduce pain, but it also improved sleep quality and quality of life [4].

In another study, migraine patients reported significant improvements in headache frequency, intensity, and duration after being exposed to green LEDs daily for 10 weeks. More specifically, patients reported green light exposure to reduce their pain by 60%! All that with zero side effects [2].

Man holding glasses, with migraine

Overall, green light treatment has the potential to treat chronic pain. It’s an effective non-invasive, non-thermal (meaning the light therapy devices don’t generate heat) therapy to treat many pain-related illnesses and ailments.

What The Experts Say

Laurent Martin, PhD, says that “green light can decrease pain and anxiety in animal models by increasing the production of natural substances in the brain that fights pain and anxiety while also reducing the production of inflammatory substances”.

Mohab Ibrahim, MD, PhD, says “I have another tool in my toolbox to treat two of the most difficult conditions – migraine and fibromyalgia” when asked about green light therapy.

Woman receiving green LED light therapy treatment

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs about green light therapy.

Does Green Light Help With Headaches?

Yes, green light has been shown to help with headache intensity and reduce headache frequency. Studies have shown that green light benefits episodic migraine and chronic migraine patients alike [2].

What Does Green Light Therapy Do?

Green light therapy involves exposing someone to a specific range of green light, typically 500 – 570 nm. These wavelengths trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions in our cells, resulting in benefits like pain relief, sleep improvement, wound healing, and mood enhancement.

What Does Green Light Do For Your Face?

While not as beneficial as red light, green light exposure may help calm down skin that’s red and irritated. The research mainly focuses on green light therapy’s ability to treat inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea [10].

Anecdotally, it also helps improve skin tone, reduce pigmentation, and soothe sensitive skin. Green LED therapy can be used to improve skin health for all skin types. It’s 100% safe to use, non-invasive, and has minimal side effects.

That said, if your primary concern is acne, you may be better off using blue light therapy and / or red light therapy.

Green LED facial mask with remote on table

Final Thoughts

Green light therapy emerges as a promising, versatile, and non-invasive treatment for a wide range of health benefits. While the research is still limited, this form of light therapy has shown positive results in treating various conditions, including fibromyalgia and migraines, while also helping with mood.

All in all, green light therapy may be an effective form of treatment, alone or when used in combination with traditional medical methods.

If you’d like to know more, check out our other articles to learn everything about how green and red light therapy can benefit you.

References

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36979014/ 
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32903062/ 
  3. https://journals.lww.com/pain/abstract/2017/02000/long_lasting_antinociceptive_effects_of_green.19.aspx 
  4. https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.148.4.509 
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6685747/
  6. https://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(21)00243-1/fulltext
  7. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/pho.2005.23.167
  8. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-11061-y
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30046164/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36979014/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2710461/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22380691/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23924840/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36416978/
  15. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10103-019-02867-5
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23508376/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28708285/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24204094/
  19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32621128/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33518440/
  21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33524930/
  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31681924/
Anne, Founder of Therapeutic Beams

Anne Linde

Since using it to clear up her acne in college, Anne has been an avid user and fan of all things light therapy. She now primarily uses red light therapy for its anti-aging benefits. Anne's mission is to make the science behind red light therapy easy to understand and accessible, so anyone can use it to take control of their health and wellbeing.

John Ni, BSc.

John, a graduate of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania, serves as a respected scientific reviewer at TherapeuticBeams.com. His expertise extends across various domains, including chemistry, pharmaceuticals, and dermatology. He contributes to publications like Royal Society of Chemistry, Drug Topics, and Practical Dermatology.

John Ni, Content Editor & Scientific Review

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