In this podcast, we are going to talk about red lights, a device that helps us in boosting our hormones and internal health. Today’s episode is with Scott Nelson, one of the founders of Joov Red Light Therapy.
In this episode, we cover:
01:59 All About Light Therapy
13:37 Light Therapy Benefits
26:12 Fluorescent Light Issues
34:03 Joov’s Dose
35:09 Red Light’s Safety
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And we are live. It’s Dr. Justin Marchegiani here today is going to be a fabulous interview. I have Scott Nelson, who’s one of the co founders of Joov. Joov is a phenomenal red light technology really good, with lots of cool benefits. I’m really excited to have him on the show today and talk all about things red lights, and how we can use it to improve your health. Well, Scott, welcome to the show.
Scott Nelson: Dr. J. Pleasure to be on the show, really looking forward to the discussion.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Excellent, Scott. So first, tell me about your background. How did you even get into a field where you’re, hey, I’m going to invent red light technology and bring it to the masses. How does that even work? How do you even get to this point?
Scott Nelson: Right? Well, I’d like to say it was all planned out and very strategic, but that’s not really the case. I personally, I spent most of my professional career in the traditional med tech space. So with companies like Medtronic, Covidien, Boston Scientific, and really more specifically the peripheral vascular arena, so have have a really strong med tech background. But the the story of how we we found juvies is really probably not too dissimilar to any other startup. This is, you know, back in early 2015, and my wife and her, her sister purchased a red light therapy package at a local from a local Spa in Minneapolis. That’s where we started the company and saw really good benefits. But when we looked at the the product landscape and the available information online to learn more about this, this technology, there really wasn’t a lot of good, good offerings. Either way, right? Whether it was to learn in a sort of easily digestible way more about light therapy, or photobiomodulation, or from a product standpoint, there really wasn’t, you know, very good, very good offerings for when it comes to devices that you could use at home. And so we kind of thought how there might be something here, there might be an opportunity to kind of like, you know, see if we can see if we can build a product that kind of suits our own needs first, and that’s a high level overview, but that’s sort of how we got started.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Cool. So like, what is red light we have obviously, it’s a spectrum, right? Like, what’s that frequency? How does that compare to like UVB light where you can make vitamin D but also get a sunburn? How what’s that comparison look like?
Scott Nelson: Yeah. I’m glad you brought that up. Because light can be kind of one of these abstract things right for people, especially if people are new to it, when I’m new to it in terms of how it can, how it can affect our health and so, to your point, you brought up the electromagnetic spectrum, it’s actually very, very broad, you’ve got invisible infrared wavelengths of light, to visible light that we see you know, every day blue, green, red, etc, to UVB, UVA, UVB, etc. Various various wavelengths. And when we talk about light therapy, or photobiomodulation, there’s actually a very narrow range of wavelengths that have been proven time and time again and clinical science to support some really strong benefits when it comes to overall health. And those those wavelengths kind of generally fall in the in the red and near infrared range. But to your point, it’s really it’s almost like that the comparison would be like, think about 10 football fields, right? And we’re focused on be on the the 10 to 20 yard line on one of those football fields, right, and that’s where kind of the that’s the those specific wavelengths of light red and near infrared are sort of like where the magic happens when it comes to you know, health and wellness.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, and that wavelength that frequencies right around what 650 to 750 nanometer frequency?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah. at nanometers is typically the, you know, the, the, the metric that’s used when we’re talking about wavelengths and it’s, it’s visible red light, and that kind of that low to mid 600 nanometer range. And then near infrared, so not not mid or far not infrared, like an infrared sauna. And we can certainly talk about that later on in the conversation but near infrared in the kind of the low to mid 800 nanometer range. And those, those are not to say that other other wavelengths of light can have can have benefits when it comes to certain health health categories. But those two specific ranges have been been proven by the most science.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, so on your device, I have a two device, it’s phenomenal. And there’s two options. There’s a red light option, then there’s a near infrared light option. So is the difference just the near infrared, just the frequencies a little bit, little longer set of 650 to 750. It’s a little bit higher up in the frequency?
Scott Nelson: It is. It is a little bit longer wavelength. And that’s probably the number one question we get all the time is what’s the difference between the two red versus near infrared. And there’s there’s probably some some different mechanisms that have action at a cellular level that will learn about over time. But for the most part, it’s really just depth of penetration. So most of the energy from red light is absorbed in the superficial layers of our of our tissue. So primarily the dermis and epidermis of your skin. And the near infrared has the unique ability to penetrate into deeper tissues and that’s why you see it studied more often for you know, reducing joint pain and inflammation or for for bone health, stimulating, you know, bone bone regrowth as an example, because-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: in the infrared, you have deeper penetration in for infrared, regular red light, it’s more superficial.
Scott Nelson: You got it. You got it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then so let’s go over that frequency. So split 650 to 750 or so for the red. And then the infrared is what, what’s that frequency there?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, it’s about the mid six hundreds for red and then the low low to mid eight hundreds for near infrared.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: A mid 100 Okay, great, so I can wrap my head around that and just people listening. You kind of go violet, violet Blue, Green 400 to 500. So you keep on creeping up in that spectrum, those wavelengths get longer as you go into red and infrared. Is that correct?
Scott Nelson: You got it, you got it. And each, I think the important point to call out here and the analogy I like to use when we talk about different wavelengths of light is kind of thinking about it like food. We all understand our bodies metabolize different macronutrients in various ways right proteins, carbs, fats, and and and it matters the time of day right that you eat those as well. Like if you eat a high glycemic carbohydrate late at night, not a great recipe for success, you know, for health success anyway. But when it comes to wavelengths of light, those also have unique our bodies respond uniquely. From a physiological standpoint, different wavelengths, you mentioned UVB wavelengths of light as an example, we all understand that that our bodies produce vitamin D in response to UVB exposure. Well, our bodies are the cells you know, the mitochondria and ourselves are respond in a unique ways to when exposed to red and near infrared light as well. So it’s just kind of important understand our bodies, they react and respond to these different wavelengths of light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Can infrared or near infrared- can that burn your skin?
Scott Nelson: No, no, not not like not like you, you know your ultraviolet rays from the sun as it is.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, got it so the ultraviolet rays that’s going to be on the 400 ish frequency. So you got to be in that lower 400 450 or so to start getting the burn. Is that correct?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah, it’s in the kind of the mid the mid three hundreds is there’s a there’s a there’s a little bit of a range there like mid to high three hundreds into the low four hundreds, and then you start getting into visible, you know, visible blue light as an example.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And what’s happening like, why is it that wavelength gets longer? It’s not having a burning effect? Is there a reason why your body’s able to dissipate it or tolerate it better?
Scott Nelson: That’s a great question. Probably a little bit above my pay grade. Yeah, be more more applicable to like, you know, a photobiomodulation researcher but not not entirely sure that the mechanism at play there, but I think For people listening is our bodies just respond differently to these various wavelengths of light just like food. And so you know, ultraviolet wavelengths of light can be beneficial they can help our bodies produce more vitamin D but like prolonged exposure you know isn’t isn’t isn’t isn’t great because you know we’re likely to burn it’s likely because of skin burn so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly, now some people they also talk about you know vitamin you know, like the ultraviolet light that’s going to stimulate cortisol to take down melatonin that’s why we keep lights off at night so to speak, but tell me about red light on melatonin effects like can you do red light before bed? Well that negate your melatonin and make it harder for you to go to sleep and stimulate you. What do you notice with that?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, when it when it comes to red light, this is kind of one of the emerging categories within the world of light therapy that is showing some interesting promise right exposure to red and near infrared light and can can it help your body produce more melatonin? There’s some early some some small studies. I mean, we’re kind of early and learning more about this. This this category, but they’re out there. There are some interesting studies, you know, one in particular that stands out to me, while we’re while we’re chatting here is one is researchers that evaluated female basketball players that were exposed to full body red light therapy. I think if I remember correctly over, it was a relatively short amount of time. But they saw tremendous results in terms of their sleep quality. And researchers then concluded that, you know, it’s highly likely that these wavelengths of light are stimulating, you know, melatonin production. And so I think that that’s one of the and that’s, you know, anecdotally we’ve heard now from, you know, hundreds from hundreds of our own customers that have reported back, you know, benefits with regards to sleep, enhance the quality quality when using, you know, red and near infrared light on a consistent basis. And so, it appears that yes, that that’s definitely happening. And there’s no doubt that it’s definitely a better it’s a better wavelength of light to be exposed to once the sun begins to set. Because you know, if we’re, if we’ve got if we’re looking at me, I know you’ve covered this on your on your show before Dr. J. But if we’re exposed A bright blue light or bright white light at night, that’s very disruptive to our circadian rhythm. Yes, it serves as almost a signal to our brain, right? Our brain says, you know, body you should be wide awake because it’s, it’s, it’s sunny out, it’s this bright blue and white light that’s stimulating. And so we think our body thinks that it’s, it’s, it’s, you know, mid day, you know, it’s the middle part of the day when in reality, we should begin to prepare for bed time. And so that that is it’s a much it’s a much more gentle form of light to be used, you know, in the evenings, there’s no doubt but it does appear that there’s some some therapeutic effect as well in terms of, you know, stimulating more melatonin production.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Exactly. So we have typical ultraviolet light. So like we have like the spectrum, right, all of the infrared stuff at the top of the spectrum. Then the Colors kind of go down, like red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, violet, violet here, and then you have the ultraviolet just below so it’s the ultraviolet that’s going to be burning you and then one step above is the kind of the blue and that’s most of the lights that you’re going to see indoors right.
Scott Nelson: Yep, yet white, bright white or bright blue light. Exactly. And blue light has some interesting effects. Right? It gets it gets a really bad rap, right in terms of overexposure from from devices, but usually that’s because we’re using that the wrong time of day. You know, using bright light in the morning is not mean depending on the source, of course, but it may not be bad because it helps to reset your circadian rhythm.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, it can actually there’s, there’s a fair amount of clinical clinical research that suggests blue light is is very good for, you know, bacterial induced acne as an example. So it has, it has its benefits, but most of the most of us, at least here, here that here in America, you know, use it the wrong way, you know, or we’re getting blasted with it at night at the wrong time of day. And you know, it’s completely disruptive to our, you know, to our our circadian biology.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Absolutely. So let’s kind of before we talk about, so people listen, this is going to be like the soup to nuts, everything about red light that you guys want to know about the science diving in deep but also kind of pulling it back and having the application so if you guys just don’t care, you want to know how to use it. We’re going to go over that too. Hold tight. Like let’s what’s happening when light hits your skin, you get red light going, what’s happening to the mitochondria? What’s happening underneath the hood? People can wrap their heads around that.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, and we’ll start high level and we can certainly go deeper if you want to Dr. J. But I’m at a high level, the mitochondria and ourselves. So the powerhouses of our cells are being stimulated by these wavelengths of light. So there’s a there’s a process called cellular respiration or mitochondria. Our mitochondria follows that process to produce more ATP energy adenosine triphosphate. And so we’re actually there’s a it’s there’s a pretty well understood mechanism, it’s it’s it’s probably the most well understood mechanism that red and near infrared light play a key role during the fourth phase of that process, that cellular respiration process and the end result is that our mitochondria are functioning better, they’re producing more energy. And because of that core kind of stimulation at the mitochondrial level, you’ve seen a wide range of benefits right? Everything from improve skin Health Increase Collagen Production, it anti inflammatory reactions, right, you know, through and the byproduct would be reduced, you know pain and inflammation, etc. But it’s all because of that core mechanism of action that these specific wavelengths of light are stimulating our mitochondria to produce more energy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. So it’s stimulating the mitochondria producing more energy, we have more ATP, obviously, we’re making ATP from our food as well, right? And so essentially, we have our food and then we have the light. So we’re kind of supercharging our energy system so we can generate more ATP.
Scott Nelson: You got it, you got and there’s also some I mean, that’s probably that’s, that’s in the world of photobiomodulation. That’s, that’s kind of been the gold standard mechanism of action for quite some time is is, you know, these wavelengths of light and their ability to resonate with an enzyme called cytochrome c oxidase. But as as this kind of this, this field of light therapy emerges. We’re learning we’re beginning to learn a lot more about about various mechanisms at play. There’s a lot of interesting data around light therapy and cognitive health as an example and the wavelengths of light being able to increase or create new synapses in your brain as an example, right? There’s some interesting research which we make it into related to oncology and the ability for these wavelengths of light to stimulate TGF one beta, which is a certain side of cytokines. So there’s a lot of new learnings and and certainly, we’ll learn more about the mechanisms, you know, over the, over the next 5 10 15 20 years. But that that core, that core kind of function of these wavelengths of light being able to help your mitochondria in your cells produce more energy. That’s That’s why we see such a such wide ranging benefits when it comes to the red and near infrared light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what’s the number one benefit you’re seeing your customers experience? Like? They’re like, Hey, I plugged in, I used it my first week. This is what I’m feeling. I love it. What is that typical feedback.
Scott Nelson: There’s probably there’s probably, you know, three or four core core benefits that that we hear back and that are also supported by probably the most science what would be skin health. That’s it’s very, very quickly That it’s it. You’re gonna, you’re gonna be hard pressed to find someone that uses red near infrared light, especially red light on a consistent basis that doesn’t that where their skin doesn’t look better over time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: I’ve noticed my skin tone the last week is really even just gonna say it looks good glowing. Yeah, it’s really glowing. So I’m like, Okay, this is good. I’m gonna do that five minutes after this five minutes after work. This is great. I like it.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah. So that that’s one of the key benefits. And then there’s, there’s a few others that really stand out to most most people that that purchase our devices that are trying to reduce pain and inflammation. That that’s one of the they usually see pretty, pretty dramatic results, it kind of depends on on how severe that pain is and whether they see like immediate results after maybe one session or if it takes you know, two to two to three weeks but the reduction of pain and inflammation is a is another you know core benefit as well that we often hear so skin health reduction of you know, pain and inflammation. And then there’s a few others. We have got a lot of a lot of kind of fitness enthusiasts that that purchase our devices to the Typically, they find that they recover a lot faster after training. So they know, you know, they know how, you know, after doing maybe a typical hit workout or a CrossFit workout or something like that, they know how their body typically feels, and using red and near infrared light, especially near infrared light, you know, they’re seeing some pretty, pretty significant decreases in turn in terms of their, their recovery time. So, muscle recovery, that’s another big one. And then there’s kind of some early early interesting things that we’re beginning to study ourselves as a company, one of which is hormone health. That’s another kind of emerging kind of benefit that we we hear a lot back from from customers on, you know, that have done blood work and they’re seeing these bio these these biomarker changes with respect to different different hormones, and that’s kind of another kind of emerging kind of health health benefit. That’s that’s interesting as well.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: That’s great. You said a couple things I want to circle back to but I want to just hit this off the back because I specialize in thyroid health, and I see hundreds of patients that have autoimmune thyroid disease like Hashimoto is for instance, and I’ve used Red light therapy where they’ve kind of really gotten close to the device gotten their, their throat right up to there. And we’ve seen a reduction in their antibodies and swelling and how they felt. So I’ve noticed it clinically seeing that antibody reduction and just seeing the symptomatic improvement, swallowing tightness reduced. So I think that’s phenomenal. Really cool.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah, it’s certainly exciting for us. And this kind of there when you look at like the pub list, pure peer reviewed evidence around light therapy and hormone function and really specifically the thyroid. There is some some interesting data for sure. But it’s it’s fairly limited. But over the past two to three years, we’ve seen a ton of responses from our customers that have like Hashimoto is as an example or some sort of thyroid condition, or just like guys in general that are like, man, my, I’m on TRT and it’s not you know, that’s the only way I can keep my testosterone up as an example and they’re doing you know, pre and post bloodwork. You know, what, before and after using, you know, red light therapy. And so we like those two things, you know, the lack of kind of the minimal amount of Existing evidence combined with like a lot of anecdotal, you know, feedback from our customers is kind of, sort of caused us to look at this even further. And in fact, we just wrapped up a clinical study with a group in in Minneapolis, Bristol cone medical, where we actually study this. We took both male and female participants and looked at progesterone to Ester dial ratios and women and then testosterone to estrogen estrogen ratios in men. And the two, the two groups that we looked at were people that just they were on a normal, you know, kind of standard American diet, and just incorporated red light therapy. And then the other group, Incorporated red light therapy, and then also did the ketogenic diet. And so we looked at those those two cool cohorts in this particular study really interesting. In fact, we’re recording this year in in kind of mid to late January, and one of the one of the researchers, Dr. Kelly, get us is actually going to be presenting the data at the metabolic health conference here in Southern California this weekend, but really, really interesting results. Yeah, for sure. And Just to kind of just to kind of follow that up the the participants that that ate a normal, they didn’t do anything, the only thing they did probably was introduced red light therapy. So eight they’re kind of normal normal diet. They saw significant increases in both testosterone and men and estrogen I’m sorry, progesterone in women, really significant, statistically significant differences. But then when you looked at the group that was on a ketogenic diet, and then introduced red light therapy into their daily routine, they saw phenomenal increases, it was like it’s it’s, it’s mind blowing, I mean, we’re talking about 50 to 100% changes and in testosterone, and progesterone. So really, really compelling. It appears that there’s definitely some some metabolic synergies going on, when it comes to, you know, red light therapy and our body’s ability to produce those, those those, those hormones.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So what’s the mechanism right, like, I’m just trying to wrap my head around this. I’m thinking okay, well, we know red light has a major effect on inflammation. We know the more inflamed you are, the more your glandular system is kind of always hardwired to deal with stress and inflammation. healing, recovery, reproduction right, these hormones are all reproduction hormones, but they also help you as well put on muscle feel great, but the more stressed you are, the more you’re going to make your anti inflammatory stress hormones to put out the fire. So I see one possible mechanism is just reducing inflammation I see the other one is mitochondria and all these glandular tissues as well. We’re enhancing mitochondrial function which has to then on the other side, increase glandular output my kind of in the right wheelhouse there What do you think?
Scott Nelson: That that would be my hypothesis is is is what you just recall there Dr. J. And that’s actually what what Dr. Give us reported back and one of her conclusions is like this, this ability for red and near infrared light to reduce what she she referred to as metabolic congestion. So think of like cars going down a busy Interstate and you got this traffic jam. And that’s what kind of happens in in our in our in our mitochondria where if we’re overloaded with food, if our if our mitochondria has too many different choices when it comes to food, or to freedom to to too many different choices to fuel itself. There’s like a log jam basically you get you get you get sort of you know cars leaving yeah backed up cars kind of blocking you know changing lanes and red near for lights ability to like enhance cell signaling and reduce that congestion may lead to you know some of these some of these enhancement enhancements when it comes to hormone function there’s other people though that believe, you know, with guys as an example, that that the the light excels in our in our testes that you’re responsible for producing testosterone that you’re you’re helping the mitochondria, those cells function better and a byproduct is more testosterone. I don’t I think there may be some some merit to that, but I think it’s actually more of a metabolic and metabolic kind of mechanism. But nonetheless, there’s, we hope to learn a lot more about like what’s really going on there in terms of the the mechanism, but it’s, it’s it’s pretty interesting and just to reiterate, I tend to agree with you that it’s probably it’s probably, it there’s there’s something systemic going on versus like, you know, a direct therapeutic effect on a particular cell type.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And when you say metabolic you mean kind of modulating that the mitochondria. Right?
Scott Nelson: Exactly. Yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. All right. Very cool. And I know I think I think it’s correct that every cell in the body has a mitochondria except the red blood cells. So it makes sense that, you know, those cells would all have a mitochondria and would be would benefit from that. So that makes a lot of sense. You know, from an application standpoint, what does that look like? So if you’re, you’re a guy, I mean, are you just trying to get your kind of general area four to six inches away from the red light? Or do you have to be right up against it? So if I’m inflamed, my shoulders hurt right to be right up against it a couple of inches. I’m trying to have glandular modulation do I’d have my my genitals are my ovaries, like within a couple of inches? I’m right up against that, that wall. How does that look from an application standpoint?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, you want to be pretty close to the device. And this this comes down to really the power that’s delivered from from the device, generally speaking, like we’ve had our products independently tested. So we like we’re really, you know, we acutely understand like the dose of energy that’s being delivered at a certain distance from our device, which is why we recommend generally speaking about Six inches away from our from our product, but it kind of depends, but generally speaking, yeah, you want to be pretty close. You know, if you’re, say you’ve got a bum shoulder or something like that, and you’re trying to reduce the pain and swelling as an example, yeah, you want you want the device to be pretty, pretty close, you know, we’re talking inches you don’t I mean that the further you The further you get away from any type of device, even if it’s a high powered one, the the power or the radiance that’s delivered from it drastically drops off and it’s not linear, it’s not one to one. So like, as an example, at about 12 inches away from our device, the power that’s delivered to your tissues really, really begins to fall off pretty dramatically. So what that means is you just in order to receive the same clinically relevant dose of energy, you have to use it for a lot longer period of time. And so if you want something like that’s short and impactful, and you know, includes kind of that clinic, like a clinically relevant dose of energy, like Like I mentioned, you want to be pretty pretty close to the device.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And if you have inflammation issues, you probably want your body almost touching that right my shoulders hurt. I must want to be right up against it, right.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, you got I mean, we recommend some distance from from from the device, just because we’re not, if you’re if you’re right on top of it, you can do it can result in like set like a heating effect. And that’s not what we’re really trying to do. We’re not trying to induce like a sauna type type effect. But But yeah, you want to be pretty, you know, you want to be generally speaking, you want to be within, you know, inches, you know, three to six inches.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay. Yeah, I know in the manual, it says four to six. That’s good. That’s really good. Alright, cool. So we have that and then we can just get our body within that four to six inch bubble and we’re pretty good there. I also noticed it. My son, I five month old son Hudson has having a little bit of eczema. So we’re doing a lot of different diet tweaks and things like that. We’re on top of that, and we’re starting to do a little bit of the red light on XM for the X amount of skin. What have you noticed with autoimmune skin issues like eczema?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, that’s, that’s another kind of overall skin health is is supported by a lot of peer reviewed science. When it comes to you know, red light therapy, but certain skin conditions are really super interesting, as Especially those that are that are autoimmune autoimmune related and so yeah, there does appear to be a positive effect when when using you know, red light therapy for you know skin conditions like you know, rosacea, eczema psoriasis. And it kind of depends. It’s like, I’m sure there’s I’m sure there’s like a direct physiological targeted kind of effect with, you know, when in terms of I’ve got eczema on my face, and I’m shining the light right out my face. Yes, there’s probably a direct effect there. But I also I also tend to think that if it’s auto immune related, and you’re exposing your full body to red and near infrared light, there’s probably a inflam a positive inflammatory response as well. That’s also helping. So but but yeah, that’s that’s certainly that’s certainly an interesting category. We hear a lot. We hear a lot of positive feedback from customers that that are seeing benefits when it comes to you know, red light therapy and conditions like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: It’s obviously modulating the immune system, probably just through inflammation reduction or just bumping up the mitochondria. there any other mechanisms that You could think of why it would be modulating the immune system.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, there’s it there appears to be a shift in our immune system from what’s you know, an M one phenotype to an M into phenotype where immune system becomes just, I kind of like I like to use, it’s just kind of a, maybe a silly example, but I kind of think of like Pac Man, everyone understands, like, yep, old school Pac Man, when our immune system begins to shift to an M to phenotype, like, our white blood cells become more Pac Man, like, you know, so they’re able to kind of Eat up, you know, cells that we don’t that we don’t want around. And so you do you see a positive immune response. And I mentioned one of the other mechanisms of action that we’re learning a little bit more about, is is this ability for reading near frehley near infrared light to stimulate TGF one beta, which is a pretty important cytokine in terms of within kind of the broader immune immune function or immune system, and that’s something that Dr. Praveena Ronnie touched on a recent a recent interview we did with him. He’s one The one of the world’s leading researchers in the world of photobiomodulation. But that’s that’s something his lab is learning a lot more about is that, that ability for, for these, these wavelengths of light to stimulate that that really important cytokine.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Excellent. So lots of good benefits there. And then a couple questions, so why is it? People have issues with fluorescent light? They’re in buildings. What’s that frequency? What’s that doing? And why is that so noxious?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, it could be it could be fluorescent, it could be just any any poor source, right? It could be a cheap led device. It could be a bad incandescent source, but it’s the fluorescent light doesn’t is not necessarily the negative impact is not necessarily because of the brightness of the light, like the white light it delivers. It’s more of the the the the flicker effect that’s happening with the flicker. Yeah, yeah. And so that’s kind of a sometimes that that led is get a bad name as an example, but it comes down down to like the wavelengths that are delivered from that light and whether or not the sort that the actual sources is high quality. And so sometimes you’ll get, you know, inferior fluorescent bulbs that do have a tendency to flicker, and it’s pretty clear that that that could lead to some, some negative, you know, some some bad health consequences, you know, with overexposure to any sort of any sort of device. That’s a light source that’s flickering, but again, the key there is overexposure right, I mean, if you’re if you’re five to 10 minutes a day, you know, it’s not gonna hurt you. But if you’re over if you’re inside an office, you know, for eight hours a day exposed to you know, fluorescent bulbs that are you know, have a tendency to flicker probably not great because that’s a long period of time.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So when it comes to that, what’s that frequencies that a blue light frequency?
Scott Nelson: That’s delivering from for me it’s really it’s, it’s more that the pulsing actually that’s that’s going on the pulsing of that frequency of light, right? So it’s most indoor lighting as an example is delivering white or blue light you know, so on the spectrum like we know blues at the at the lower end of the spectrum meaning like 400 ish.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: How about white? Where’s that at?
Scott Nelson: White light? Yeah, it’s even lower.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, it’s even lower than that. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Okay, cool. Very cool. And then I’m just curious with the red light. What do you have the ability to make vitamin D off that at all? Was that strictly ultra violet lights that do that ultraviolet lights?
Scott Nelson: No, it’s just, it’s just UV UVB wavelengths of light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yep. So you had to be on the ultraviolet kind of lower 300 ish range. So you will make no vitamin D off the red light. And then you give an option on the job, which is interesting. You have the red light option, as well as the infrared option. Yes, the point of that. Do you typically should everyone just be doing both? And if they’re not, why would one person do one over the other?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, it’s the major difference is the depth of penetration. So near anitra? Yes, yeah.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. Near and vertical red, deeper infrared? Yep, got it.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, and most of our customers, it’s pretty rare that you’d use one or the other. But as an example, like someone that’s just using red light therapy for skin health as an example, they may not respond favorably to near infrared light, maybe they’re prone to hyperpigmentation as an example, and that scenario they may want, they may want to turn off the near infrared light, because near infrared light does have does, I mean, it’s been shown that to stimulate the production of pigment in our skin. So if you if you do have if you if you’re kind of prone to, you know, hyperpigmentation of any of any kind that might not be, you know, a great wavelength to use as an example.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. could it give you a tan?
Scott Nelson: No, no, that’s not typically not that not that not the response physiologically that you’re going to get from red and near infrared light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, God, that makes sense. So in general, we probably want to have both frequencies on
Scott Nelson: Yeah, most of our customers doing less and less. It’s kind of a rare use case where you know, you don’t you don’t want to use you know, near infrared light as an example. But yeah, there’s there’s really, there’s there’s a lot of benefits to using both, you know, and you get to kind of get the best of both worlds in terms of both the superficial and Deep depth deep penetration with near infrared light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it, the only reason why maybe you’re sensitive superficially, but you want the deep near infrared benefits essentially
Scott Nelson: Yep, yep, you got it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And then what about far infrared? I mean, people talk about that too. Is that not as therapeutic?
Scott Nelson: No, that’s that’s what that’s next to like, what’s the difference between red and near infrared? What’s the difference between red light therapy and and an infrared sauna? That’s probably the second most second most common question that comes up, you know, kind of in this in this world. And again, it all kind of goes back to the mechanisms at play when it comes to how our bodies respond to different wavelengths of light. And so the infrared wavelengths of light that you’ll find in a dry Infrared Sauna are most of the time going to be mid and far infrared. So we’re talking about wavelengths in the, you know, 5000 to 20,000 millimeter range. So it’s really really broad spectrum that that infrared spectrum and it’s, it’s a it’s divided up into infrared a, I’m sorry, infrared, near mid and far. wavelengths of light So our devices deliver near infrared, which has been proven to, you know, stimulate ourselves in a certain fashion, where mid and far infrared, those wavelengths, our bodies respond to those wavelengths. That I guess the result is the production of heat, which is why they’re using the sauna. And so, most of that most of those, most of the time those wavelengths those mid and far infrared wavelengths are absorbed by the water in our in our cells. And so, that’s that tends to be why you’ll see dry Sun is used mid and far infrared because they just they do a great job at generating heat, but you don’t necessarily get the same physiological response that you do with red and near infrared light.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Got it. And then with the red we’re in the we’re in like the six of like the low sevens and then we go up another hundred or so with the near Is that correct?
Scott Nelson: Yeah you got it, you got it-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: and then and then another hundred or so for the far
Scott Nelson: I mean thousands and other thousands so so the the mid and far or the infrared range, the infrared kind of range within that broader EMF spectrum. The infrared range is, you know, anywhere from like 800 nanometers to 20,000 nanometers. So it’s really, really, yeah, it’s really, really broad and with the far we’re at the top end of the 20,000 Yeah, yeah, you’re you’re into the thousands and so our body there’s a different physiological mechanism that’s happening when you’re exposed to you know, infrared wavelengths and heat is a byproduct, which is why, you know, a lot of saunas incorporate or utilize sources that deliver mid and far infrared wavelengths is because they do a great job at producing heat. It’s kind of one of the same things that you you know, the, the infrared heat lamps that you can pick up like at Home Depot or Lowes as an example that the kind of the they have like a red, they typically have a red tint to them. Those those they’re called infrared heat, they’re heat lamps because it’s kind of the name is self explanatory. They do a great job at producing heat, because they’re delivering mostly mid and far infrared wavelengths of light. And so that’s why they do it. Good job at producing heat,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: But they’re not going to provide that red light as much as like the job would, for instance?
Scott Nelson: you got it. Yeah, different wavelengths of light. So our devices deliver red and near infrared. And it’s kind of it’s kind of, yeah, and, and this, this can get kind of like, you know, technical pretty quick, but it’s just again, it’s just important for anyone that’s, that’s kind of interested in learning more and going deeper, and maybe even potentially, you know, picking up a device, you really want to make sure you understand which wavelengths it delivers. It’s like, it’s like, you know, picking up a, you know, looking at a label on a food product, you want to understand, like, how many how many grams of fat is in this product? Or how many, you know, what, what are the what’s the carbohydrate content and the protein content is kind of the same thing. You want to understand which wavelengths of light are delivered from this device. Because the our bodies respond differently to all these different types of types of wavelengths.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Yeah. And I have a joov in my bio hacking layer. And so anyone wants to pick it up. We’ll put a link down below if you guys want to grab that. So let’s talk more about the application. So what’s the typical dose? Are we talking like 10 minutes once a day, can we break it? what’s the what’s the smallest dose for the maximum benefit?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, and we’ve we, we when we first designed our devices we wanted to we wanted a product that could deliver a clinically relevant dose for general health and wellness in a short amount of time. And so with our devices we generally record we talked about the treatment distance you know, kind of that three to six inches away from the device for about eight to 10 minutes per treatment area. So like if you have are like a product like our mini as an example which is kind of like the size of maybe like a 15 inch MacBook you know it’s thicker right worse but like the footprint that’s that’s great for like targeted treatments right if you want to treat your face if you have like a sore hip as an example, great device for that. But if you want a you know, a full body system you know the only difference between something like the Juve mini and something bigger like the quad or the Juba elite is really just coverage area, that’s all it’s the same power the same, you’re going to get the same dose as long as you you’re kind of within that same treatment distance. It’s really just treatment area. That’s the only that’s the only difference. So if you’re, if you’re interested in like, you know, if you’re interested in kind of a full body treatment in a short amount of time, you’re going to want to go with a bigger system, of course.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, very cool. And then when you’re in there, you know, it’s kind of instinctively you want to keep your eyes closed, is it okay, if you look at the light, will that damage your eyes at all?
Scott Nelson: That’s, that’s, it’s that’s a great point. I’m glad you brought it up. Dr. J. Um, the, we’ve actually done as part of like the FDA registration process with our devices, we have to do certain IEC safety testing, one of which is photo biological safety testing, primarily focused on on eyes is that are these wavelengths delivered from a product harmful for your eyes, and we’ve obviously passed those those safety tests, which is why we do not include eyewear with our with our product. But but having having said that, there’s a lot of really, really solid clinical evidence published evidence that suggests that these wavelengths of light are actually very beneficial for your eyes, in terms of just overall vision enhancement, but also reducing symptoms like you know, macular or condition generation. degeneration as an example, so so we actually kind of it aligns, I mean, from our perspective, it’s kind of twofold like our devices aren’t harmful for these wavelengths from our devices are harmful for your eyes. But plus, you’re actually it’s actually beneficial to expose you know, your eyes to these wavelengths of light as well. So you get it’s a, there’s kind of a two a two pronged approach there in terms of our recommendation not to wear eyewear with our devices if as long as you like you’re not I mean, if it’s so bright and you can’t stand it, of course, that you know, you maybe you know, get used to the therapy by by wearing some sunglasses or something like that, but uh, but over time, we tend to recommend try to try to expose your eyes to the to the device, it’s it can be pretty helpful typically-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So a 10 minute therapy you could just do it for a couple of minutes and then kind of close them and relax them or grab some sunglasses that’d be okay?
Scott Nelson: You got it like as an example when i when i i have our biggest system that the the jubilees and when I when I start when I use it, I just close my eyes at the beginning you know and kind of in you’ll notice that it by closing your eyes for a couple minutes, you can begin to open them over over time. You know, your eyes are less sensitive.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And when you have a system that they do recommend just kind of stripping down and going naked right in front of it. Is that kind of the best thing front and back?
Scott Nelson: You got it. Yep. Yep, I don’t I just use it for proactive health, you know, so I’m not I don’t have like maybe a, you know, I don’t I fortunately don’t suffer from like bad conditions or anything like that. So I typically just do the front side of my body, you know, in about 810 minutes, kind of, depending on how I’m how I’m feeling I actually I stand on a vibration plate at the same time. So kind of operation vibration therapy, as well. But I think of that, that’s a great idea that the important point yeah, I mean, stacking different things at the same time is pretty great. Also do some breathing, you know, some some breath work at the same time. That’s a it’s a great way to it’s another kind of stat or thing that I do as part of that, that that red light therapy session, but I think on that note, one of the important points to call out is that and I mentioned this earlier, like some some people, um, they think you know, I’m gonna I’m gonna buy a smaller device and then stand further back from it. And and I can get the same benefits because it looks like you know, my body’s being, you know, fully irradiated with with a slight And I think it’s just important to remember that that when you’re, when you’re farther back from any device, right, even something that’s you know, delivers a lot of power like ours, at about 12 inches or so 12 to 18 inches that the the dosage really, really begins to drop off dramatically. And so just it’s important to remember, like, you can’t really get a full, full body treatment with a smaller device unless you’re literally kind of moving it from body part to body part.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: And once you go 12 inches at like a 90% reduction?
Scott Nelson: I’d have to I it’s close to that it’s pretty dramatic. I’m not sure if it’s like 90, it might be like, you know, 70 to 80%. But it’s not like, you know, every one inch away, it’s, you know, the dose is drops off kind of linear like that. It’s not like it really, really significantly drops off. Yeah, you know, foot foot and a half away or so.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Okay, Got it, if that makes sense. Very cool. And I think we hit all the major things. A couple things here. So in regards to competitors, you have competitors out there, what makes you stand apart from other products that are there?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, and I don’t I mean, I certainly don’t want this to turn into a product pitch. By no means So I’ll call out a few things. You know, if you’re in the if you’re in if you’re if you’re into this, you heard people talking about light therapy, you’ve looked at the science and are ready to kind of pull the trigger on our device. First thing I’d say is don’t go by device right away and try to get more natural sunlight exposure, right? That’s free medicine great as a doctor, yeah, Dr. Suppiah, you know, likes to coin it’s free medicine. So try to get more natural light exposure and but you know, if you’re in a climate that doesn’t allow for that, or, you know, we I used to live in the mid in the Midwest and so you get long periods of the year where, you know, you don’t get a lot of natural sunlight, maybe you need to need to supplement your lifestyle with some, you know, with some light therapy. So if you’re in if the next step is to purchase a device, we already touched on this, but make sure it delivers you know, the right wavelengths, red and near infrared, or the wavelengths that have been proven time and time again, based on peer reviewed science. And, and you want you want like third party data to back this up, right. You know, because any, any manufacturer can say, of course, our devices deliver these wavelengths of light but you want you want third party data to support that. So make sure it’s delivering the right wave lengths, Make sure it’s it’s delivering the right power. You can you can get away with using an underpowered device. But again, you just have to use it for long periods of time longer. Yeah, yeah. So you can, you know, there’s not that’s not to say that an underpowered you know, handheld device on Amazon can work. But instead of using it for, you know, eight to 10 minutes, you may have to use it for 30 to 40 minutes, you know, if it’s super underpowered, so make sure that makes sure it delivers a clinically relevant dose of energy. And again, supported by independent third-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Are a number we’re looking for on that.
Scott Nelson: Um, it kind of it kind of depends on what you’re what you’re looking for, in terms of irradiance, and really, you want to look for joules of energy, you want to do that calculation, we’ve got a really health article on our site on how to effectively measure power from from a light therapy device. So I encourage anyone to check out that article if they want to go deeper on that topic, but But yeah, you want to look actually for joules of energy that are delivered from the device so not like what wattage consumed, right? You don’t want to look for consumption wattage consumption. You want to look for those, the inner jewels that are delivered from the device. And so just make sure it make sure you just do your research there and make sure ideally, it’s supported by independent third party data. So wavelengths power and then we’re big believers in full body light therapy. And so we designed our devices to be modular in nature. And because of that, you can start with something smaller, right? Like a like a GIF mini or a juice sola, which is the next size up. You can get your feet wet if you don’t want to go all in with a bigger system. But because they’re modular, they connect together, both physically and electronically. So you can add plug, you can you can add it to it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: So you got the solo. That’s what five feet five feet.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah, it’s about Yeah, three. Yeah, yeah, three and a half, four feet. So I’m like that.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah. And then you could put one next to it and then plug it in, and then it’s there in sync when you turn it on.
Scott Nelson: Right. Got it. You got it. Yep. And that’s kind of that that’s a that’s something that we’ve, we’ve we’ve smart. Yeah, it’s it’s it’s a patented design. And we did that because, because of our fundamental belief that full body light therapy is is more clinically efficacious, but not everyone. I mean, everyone has thousands of dollars to pour into a life this thought like that. There’s like, yeah,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: allows you to build on to its you don’t have to start over every time. Yeah, one piece. Okay, maybe next year if I like it, I’ll get a second piece for it. And then you have, you know, you got your therapeutic output. That’s great. Yeah, yeah. What about people that have autoimmune skin issues? Like the middle, I go, right, middle I go or melasma issues? Can they can they benefit from this too? Well, that kind of helped even things out or modulate the inflammation? Yeah. pigment stimulation.
Scott Nelson: Yeah, yeah. I mean, in fact, near infrared light can can actually stimulate melanocytes, right, which are the cells that produce you know-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Melanin.
Scott Nelson: Yeah. Yeah. So, um, on that note, though, like so if you if you do if you are prone to hyperpigmentation, you do probably want to stay away from near infrared light. But red light is actually very beneficial, because-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: that’s why you have the option so you can use a button for near infrared and then also just read so you have those options. That’s cool. Yeah.
Scott Nelson: And then and you know, in something like a condition like hyperpigmentation, you don’t want pigment right. Trying to lessen less than your body’s responses. And typically, as you know, Dr. J, there’s a lot of probably underlying things that are happening-
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: to dominance or maybe maybe maybe birth control usage, things like that. Yeah,
Scott Nelson: Yeah. Yeah. That early leading your cell is to produce that, that pigment. It’s a it’s an inflammatory response. And so, yeah, so I mean, these wavelengths of light can actually be very, very beneficial in terms of helping with that positive immune response. But on the flip side, just just you know, obviously, you don’t want to use near infrared light if you’re trying to avoid stimulating your, you know, milana sighs to produce more more melanin.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Totally. And I’ve seen some critics online that talked about the talk like that are extra critical about some of the red light devices now their big complaints are I’m not even sure if it’s real or not. They complain about the the flicker rate. What’s your opinion on the flicker rate? does this matter? Does this change any of the therapeutic benefit? What are your thoughts?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, the concept or the subject of flicker is really, it’s a it’s kinda like the Wild West a bit. I think a lot of people are like, tend to over exaggerate it. But I’ll say this with our This is our View one of one of the co founders of g of their son suffered from his, I’ll say is very, very sensitive to, to EMF and flicker his body for some, I’m really I don’t at least I don’t think I am but but he has, he’s actually very sensitive as an example like he’s, I think he’s How old is he now he’s 20. But like in his, in his, in his teenage years, she worked at Best Buy as an example, couldn’t like, it was very, very difficult for him to function inside that, that that environment because all of those devices, all of that lighting, constantly emitted, emitting some sort of modulating flicker, or, or just it’s a bad it’s not a great source of you know, of light from a wavelengths perspective. So anyway, I say that because we’re very cognizant of trying to reduce EMF and flicker as much as possible with our devices. So we’ve implemented you know, various design various various things in our in the design of our products to help help lower those as much as possible. But when it comes to flicker, it’s overexposure that’s critical, right? If you’re, if you’re if you’re using something like our juice solo device for eight to 10 minutes a day, like, we’ve won, we’ve reduced the flicker as much almost as much as you possibly can with the device. it’s plugged into the wall. And we have independent data to back to support this. In addition, you’re only using it for eight to 10 minutes a day. So you know, I mean, it’s, it’s, you know,
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: if it was harmful, you wouldn’t be seeing the studies producing some of these positive benefits. Yeah, it’d be some kind of confounding variable in there.
Scott Nelson: Yeah. And and I hundred percent and then I In addition, it, there’s actually a lot of evidence that suggests pulsed light, right? So basically intentionally causing a light therapy device to flicker right to post that a certain modulation can actually be like much more efficacious than continuous wave light therapy. Right? So there’s actually there’s actually and most photobiomodulation researchers agree that the evidence is like overwhelming that actually pulling So intentionally inducing a modulation, a modulation type of effect can actually lead to better better results. So I think long story short, like, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to under appreciate like the whole flicker and EMF topic by any stretch of the imagination and we’re very cognizant of designing devices around for that and trying to mitigate those two things as much as possible. But there’s, there’s a lot of like misinformation and people generally speaking don’t understand the, the, the impact, don’t understand those two, those two subjects within the context of light therapy.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Very cool. Excellent. And is the device is it an AC current or DC?
Scott Nelson: Uh, it’s it’s a AC you I mean, you plug it in, you plug it into the wall.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Yeah, walk out. Okay. Very cool. Excellent. Is there anything else you want to leave the listeners here with I mean, this is kind of my soup to nuts Compendium. I’ll be making sure all my patients get access to this and they know the benefits and people can get to use it as a as a resource will have everything transcribed as well so people can get to the information faster. Anything else you kind of want to leave with us Scott?
Scott Nelson: Yeah, I mean the thing that I would probably leave the one or two things that I probably leave everyone listening to this is, is just be more like first step when it comes to kind of light in general just be more cognizant of it right there’s like simple easy steps that you can do to help you know help prevent disruption in your in your circadian rhythm at night as example wearing blue light blocking glasses, replacing, you know, certain light bulbs at home. So just be more cognizant of just your light exposure in general, you know, try to appreciate a little bit more maybe maybe similar to how how focused you are on your diet you know, try to try to try to do the same when it comes to your light exposure and then you know, if you’re if you’re interested in digging into this topic in more detail, we have a wealth of resources on our website, educational articles that on these various you know, benefit categories, whether it’s cognitive function, hormone health scan, etc. So I’d encourage you to you know, if you’re interested kind of just learning a little bit more about the space check out or check out our website and there’s there’s plenty of information there to go deep on.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Well, Scott, thank you so much. You’re a wealth of knowledge. And again, I love the device. How I wouldn’t have you on the show if I didn’t already think the technology is phenomenal. I think you really said it just right is kind of work with the foundational things that are already there that are already free. Once you’re kind of maxing out that and you want to take it to the next level. This I think is a really powerful tool to add to your kind of biohacking medicine cabinet so to speak, will put links down below. So if you guys enjoy it, want to check it out, let me know we’ll put the link down below. Feel free to get it there. Also, I’m going to do more videos in the coming weeks with my joov device. You really inspired me with the vibration plate in front of the joov. I’m like, Oh, I’m going to do that. I’m going to make that happen. So thanks, Scott, for your great feedback and knowledge. Anything else you want to leave?
Scott Nelson: No, no, that’s it. Thanks. Thanks for having me on Dr. J. Really appreciate it.
Dr. Justin Marchegiani: Thanks so much, Scott. You’ve a great day.