Light Therapy And Testosterone
Men all over the world try a variety of herbal and hormonal remedies to boost their testosterone levels, but what if we tell you that simple lifestyle modifications can help in naturally elevating your testosterone levels?
Yes, this is indeed true.
According to a new study, exposure to light can elevate testosterone levels in the body of males. According to an Italian research, men with low libido can gain back their zest with the help of light therapy (1). It is noteworthy that in the past, light therapy has been successfully used to treat a number of medical and psychological issues such as jaundice, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and depression (2, 3). According to Italian research team, volunteers who underwent light therapy as part of the study experienced about 50% increase in the serum testosterone levels (evidenced by the serial serum hormonal tests). Besides improvements in the serum levels, all study participants also reported about three-times greater sexual satisfaction within two weeks of initiating the daily exposure to bright light.
Background And History Of Light Therapy
The idea of light therapy comes from the Nature. Previous investigational studies by researchers have suggested that testosterone levels rise naturally during spring and summer season. Likewise, men living in northern hemisphere experiences low testosterone symptoms during November and April, which goes back to normal when summer arrives. June is considere
d the peak month for conception, as testosterone levels are found to be at the maximum in this month.
As part of the Italian research study, investigators included men with low libido, with age over 40 years. Among these men, 38 were those who had low libido due to sexual arousal disorder or hypoactive sexual desire disorder. The volunteers were divided into two groups. One group was exposed to very limited amount of light (also labelled as the controlled group). Whereas the other group (or study sample) was exposed to bright light emitting from special UV-filtered light box, placed 3 feet away. The exposure was for 30 minutes each morning.
Before the experiment, all men were asked to rate their sexual satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 lowest and 10 highest). The major part of both study samples rated their sexual satisfaction to 1- 3. After exposure to the UV-filtered light box, the sexual satisfaction score increased to 6 and more. In order to confirm the findings, serum testosterone levels were evaluated and it wasobserved that testosterone levels improved from 2.3 ng/mL (before the start of experiment) to 3.6 ng/mL (at the end of study period). On the contrary, the satisfaction level was raised by 1 point only and there was no change in the testosterone levels.
What Is The Mechanism Of Light Therapy?
The researchers presented few theories about why sexual desires improved due to bright light?
Bright light can inhibit the activity of glands in the brain that are responsible for suppressing the testosterone secretion. Moreover, light therapy can increase the serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) by up to 70%. LH is produced inside the pituitary gland and is responsible for increasing the testosterone secretion. LH also influences ovulation process in women therefore, light therapy is also known to be beneficial for women with sexual dysfunction.
A “two simple plausible explanation” on this research was given by Dr. Brad Anawalt from the University of Washington in Seattle. According to him, though testosterone is at peak during morning, insufficient exposure to sunlight may lower it. With exposure to bright light, testosterone levels may get concentrated, leading to improved sexual desires and libido.
Moreover, people with low libido suffer with depression as well. Since light therapy acts as a sunshine, it can relieve depression, which ultimately improves sexual desires. Though findings are quite prompt but still further research on larger groups is required, says the researchers.
- Bossini, L., Caterini, C., Koukouna, D., Casolaro, I., Roggi, M., Di Volo, S., … & Fagiolini, A. (2013). Light therapy as a treatment for sexual dysfunctions–beyond a pilot study. Psychiatr Pol, 47(6), 1113-22.
- Benedetti, F., Riccaboni, R., Locatelli, C., Poletti, S., Dallaspezia, S., & Colombo, C. (2013). Rapid treatment response of suicidal symptoms to lithium, sleep deprivation, and light therapy (chronotherapeutics) in drug-resistant bipolar depression. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 75(2), 133-140.
- Hanford, N., & Figueiro, M. (2013). Light therapy and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia: past, present, and future. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 33(4), 913-922.