Can Infrared Light Therapy and Low Level Laser Therapy Increase Testosterone Levels?
We look at the evidence behind infrared light therapy and low level laser therapy as more emphasis is being placed on the benefits of testosterone for both men and women.
As a result, more variations of therapy are coming to light (pun intended) to provide a safe way to increase hormone production.
LAST UPDATED: March 2019 by Ben.
Can Exposing Your Testicles To Light Increase Testosterone Levels?
When you have been sunbathing, have you ever wondered how it would affect your genitals?
Fortunately I do not burn in the sun that easily and tend to come away looking brown and nicely tanned. In addition to this, I always feel better after being in the sun.
We know about the benefits of vitamin D has on the body and mind, and it is for these reasons why we should actively ensure we either get enough sunlight (safely) or supplement with vitamin D3.
However, only ever stumbling across a nudest beach just the once in my life (a crying shame) I did notice the breasts, obviously, but also the amount of ‘tackle’ just out and about.
Now, for women, on the whole their bit of ‘kit’ is safely tucked away.
For men though, it is quite literally hanging all over the place and very exposed.
It is a sensitive area and I know how strong the suns rays are when they hit my shoulders and back.
So, the thought of that hot ball of fiery gas emanating those UV rays on my gentleman sausage and sack doesn’t really bare thinking about.
However, there could actually be some scientific benefit to increasing your surface area to light exposure…
Infra Red Light
According to one medical professional, shining a near infra red light (NIR) in your crotch area will increase testosterone levels.
This is the theory behind a comprehensive research paper that has been published by a Finnish medical student and practitioner, Dr. Olli Sovijarvi. 
Yes, you read that correctly, shining a near infra red light on your scrotum could potentially increase your testosterone levels.
However, it may come as a bit of a surprise to read that light technology has made its mark on health a long time ago.
In fact a gentleman named Niels Finsen was awarded a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research using light for health benefits in 1903. 
Later on, in 1910, John Harvey Kellogg published a large research paper on the therapeutic benefits of light and the use of light bulbs.
His theory of light being a booster of vitality gained traction. 
Therefore, to think that studies relating to light and testosterone are a new theory would be vastly incorrect.
What is ‘Red Light’?
According to studies, a certain wavelength of light is required to penetrate tissue which can have health benefits such as directly increasing energy in the tissues. 
So, while light is required, visible red light doesn’t actually penetrate the skin particularly well, however, near infrared does…
Therefore, this energy stimulation of the cells may also be apparent in the Leydig cells, the Leydig cells produce the male sex hormone, testosterone. 
More energy equals more production of testosterone…
This is because the human testes are full with photoreceptive proteins. 
These are known as the opsin proteins.
What is interesting about these opsin proteins is that they are receptive to wavelengths or light, specifically red light or near infrared light. 
Increased cellular responses should then lead to an increase in testosterone production.
Human studies are few and far between (read zero), or at least for those that are published openly, however, studies on rats are incredibly positive.
Tests on rats using light at a wavelength that sits on the line between visible red light and infrared light for just 30 minutes per day concentrating on their testes area demonstrated a massive increase in serum testosterone levels with no harmful side effects. 
Side Effects of TRT
This is elevating news when a study by the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) concluded that :
- 20% of men who were in their sixties showed low testosterone levels.
- 30% in their seventies were showed low testosterone
- 50% of men in their eighties were deficient of testosterone
If we consider that traditional and popular methods of testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) consist of taking pills due to their inherent convenience which are then processed by the liver which can cause the following problems :
- Cholestatic Jaundice
- Hepatocellular neoplasms
- Peliosis hepatis
All very possible and unwanted, dangerous side effects that could be avoided by using light technology.
The Future for Near Infra Red Light Therapy?
Some people have taken note of these studies and possible outcomes so have begun experimenting.
Back in 2015 the former MLBer and Director of Player Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Gabe Kapler, discussed the possibilities of increasing testosterone levels by exposing your testicles to the sun. 
This was based on a study from 1939 published by Abraham Myerson and Rudolph Neustadt whereby the men who were involved in the study saw a 120% increase of their testosterone levels when UV light was exposed to their chest. 
Furthermore, their testosterone levels peaked at a 200% increase when UV light was exposed to their genital area!
Needless to say, Gabe’s avocation of this practice saw a viral response to his blog.
Back to the future?
So, could this hark a new beginning of light therapy that we have overlooked for 78 years?
Well, once again, actual human studies that are reliable and trustworthy enough to reference are pretty much nonexistent.
Along with the fact it cannot be too difficult of a procedure to carry out it always triggers some sort of skepticism with myself.
Or is it merely that this study from almost 100 years ago did not offer reliable evidence or methods of recording and measuring testosterone levels, therefore it is not taken seriously?
That said, I am intrigued personally, due to the fact the bulbs and lights that give off the correct wavelength readings are available and as of yet, do not require a FDA sign off to use.
Can a daily thirty minute blast be too much to deal with when the studies on rats are so conclusive?
Not when I am sure we all take supplements to help with ailments based on studies with a thinner veil of evidence…
How does Bright Light Therapy Compare?
It has been cited in a publication of Neuroscience Letters by In-Young Yoong, MD, PhD of the University of California, San Diego, US found that waking up to bright light in the morning increases testosterone levels. 
Not only that, but the rigors of distinctive changing seasons as experienced by people who live in countries of the Northern hemisphere toward the upper regions of the globe also saw an alleviation of other symptoms caused by a lack of bright light such as :
- Loss of libido
- Sexual dysfunction
The study consisted of exposing 11 healthy men to bright light therapy for one hour everyday for five consecutive days between the hours of 0500 and 0600.
The results were conclusive.
Testosterone levels increased by 69.5% following the bright light therapy.
These startling findings would also suggest that early morning bright light therapy could also assist with helping men overcome sexual dysfunction.
Bright light therapy was also beneficial for women as it was also being able to help with ovulation in women which is controlled by the Lueinizing hormone that raises testosterone levels in men. 
Well, if you look at the two light therapies and like to base your actions on fact rather than anecdote it is clear that so far there is only one offers any real concrete evidence.
In order to raise testosterone it is only bright light therapy that has contemporary proof.
The evidence speaks for itself.
- Reliable source
The main issue with red light therapy is that rather than being in its infancy, it is far from it.
That is the problem, the evidence is:
- Limited and 78 years old
- There’s no current studies
- The only reliable evidence is conducted on experiments using rats, not humans
I personally think that the results offered by the animal studies are positive and offer a good enough reason to conduct more studies in to red light therapy.
However, at present, that is what is needed the most; further current study.
Not having to just rely on peoples feelings after trying a product and leaving testimonials on a website that has an interest in selling expensive light bulbs.
Bright light devices that provide an excess of 1,000 Lux are readily available, and the evidence is concrete.
If you do not mind waking at 0500 and sitting in front of the light for one hour per day you can see an increase of almost 70% of testosterone which can help with the following:
- Increase muscle mass
- Carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism
- Regulates fat mass
- Help cognitive (brain) function
- Prevents bone weaknesses (osteoporosis)
- Helps prevent diabetes
- Can ward of cardiovascular disease
- Affects mood and general outlook
- Tone of voice
You can read about the benefits of more testosterone from a study, here.
With the current and readily available evidence in hand, I firmly recommend the use of bright light therapy over red light therapy until such evidence exists to its benefits.
Other Ways to Increase Testosterone?
If you are not particularly bothered about sitting in front of a light naked for an hour you may wish to take a further look at what other options are available to help increase your testosterone levels.
I am a strong advocate of exercising to increase testosterone levels.
However, you must ensure that your include weightlifting to your regime and in particular compound exercises which are proven to release human growth hormone and in turn increases muscle mass.
You can read more about the compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats and bench press plus their benefits, here.
However, also be careful not to participate in too much endurance exercise as that can have a negative affect on testosterone levels.
Your diet is also key to maintaining optimum testosterone levels. Too much junk food will have a negative affect on your hormones, yet eating the right, whole and natural food such as these can help ensure you will feel the benefits of heightened testosterone.
Yes, there are proven ingredients found in supplements such as D-Aspartic Acid that are proven to increase testosterone levels.
In which case, include a natural testosterone booster loaded with proven and effective ingredients to your regime for maximum results.