Odegard’s next venture gains light with Photobiomodulation


Do you hate looking in the mirror every day and seeing a tired face from what it once was? Wish you could turn back the clock from age 56 to when you were looking 26? Receding or balding hair? Bad acne? Sore and painful joints? If you answered yes to any of these questions, a new Silicon Valley backed Red light therapy company plans to do just that, all of it and possibly more.

Lumeve, a medical Photobiomodulation (PBM Therapy) start-up has been funded by serial entrepreneur and Silicon Valley investor Philip Odegard. The new venture is prototyping, researching and marketing Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) devices with hopes of cellular regeneration for the treatment of hair loss and anti-aging healing properties. Clinical studies have shown significant results of LLLT and Red-Light Therapy in treating various ailments, and its non-invasive delivery is unique to traditional treatments.

Lumeve’s products include Red light therapy (RLT) devices that use red low-level wavelengths of light to treat skin issues, such as wrinkles, scars, and persistent wounds, among other conditions. In the early 1990s, RLT was used by scientists to help grow plants in space. The scientists found that the intense light from red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) helped promote the growth and photosynthesis of plant cells.

But does it really work?

While the internet is often abuzz with news about miracle treatments for just about every health condition, red light therapy certainly isn’t a cure-all for everything. RLT is considered experimental for most conditions.

There’s limited-to-no evidence showing that red light therapy does the following:

  • treats depression, seasonal affective disorder, and postpartum depression

  • activates the lymphatic system to help “detoxify” the body

  • boosts the immune system

  • reduces cellulite

  • aids in weight loss

  • treats back or neck pain

  • fights periodontitis and dental infections

  • cures acne

  • treats cancer

It’s important to note that when RLT is used with cancer treatments, the light is only used to activate another medication. Other light therapies have been used to help with some of the conditions above. For instance, studies have found that white light therapy is more effective at treating symptoms of depression than red light. Blue light therapy is more commonly used for acne, with limited effectiveness.

Red light therapy was then studied for its potential application in medicine, more specifically to find out if RLT could increase energy inside human cells. The researchers hoped that RLT could be an effective way to treat muscle atrophy, slow wound healing, and bone density issues caused by weightlessness during space travel.

You might have heard of this technology

You may have heard of red light therapy (RLT) by its other names, which include:

  • photobiomodulation (PBM)

  • low-level light therapy (LLLT)

  • soft laser therapy

  • cold laser therapy

  • biostimulation

  • photonic stimulation

  • low-power laser therapy (LPLT)

When RLT is used with photosensitizing medications, it’s referred to as photodynamic therapy. In this type of therapy, the light only serves as an activating agent for the medication.

There are many different types of red light therapy. Red light beds found at salons are said to help reduce cosmetic skin issues, like stretch marks and wrinkles. Red light therapy used in a medical office setting may be used to treat more serious conditions, like psoriasis, slow-healing wounds, and even the side effects of chemotherapy.

Red light is thought to work by producing a biochemical effect in cells that strengthen the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell — it’s where the cell’s energy is created. The energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).

By increasing the function of the mitochondria using RLT, a cell can make more ATP. With more energy, cells can function more efficiently, rejuvenate themselves, and repair damage.

RLT is different from laser or intense pulsed light (IPL) therapies because it doesn’t cause damage to the skin surface. Laser and pulsed light therapies work by causing controlled damage to the outer layer of the skin, which then induces tissue repair. RLT bypasses this harsh step by directly stimulating the regeneration of the skin. The light emitted by RLT penetrates roughly 5 millimeters below the skin’s surface.

The benefits of Red Light Therapy

At the moment, however, there’s some evidence to suggest that RLT may have the following benefits:

  • promotes wound healing and tissue repair

  • improves hair growth in people with androgenic alopecia

  • help for the short-term treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome

  • stimulates healing of slow-healing wounds, like diabetic foot ulcers

  • reduces psoriasis lesions

  • aids with short-term relief of pain and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis

  • reduces some of the side effects of cancer treatments, including oral mucositisTrusted Source

  • improves skin complexion and builds collagenTrusted Source to diminish wrinkles

  • helps to mend sun damageTrusted Source

  • prevents recurring cold sores from herpes simplex virus infections

  • improves the health of joints in people with degenerative osteoarthritis of the knee

  • helps diminish scars

  • relieves pain and inflammationTrusted Source in people with pain in the Achilles’ tendons

At the time of writing this article, Lumeve’s light therapy is not FDA-approved for most conditions or covered by insurance companies. Lumeve’s goal is to make light therapy more accessible and affordable to its consumers and get FDA medical device clearance. Any serious condition, like psoriasis, arthritis, slow-healing wounds, or pain should be checked out by a doctor.

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