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Red Light for Cancer

The famous integrative cardiologist Thomas Levy provides a "first principle" understanding as to why red light therapy is a cancer treatment. We must recognize that there is no single solution to cancer therapy; thus, using a variety of interventions gives the best possibility for positive outcomes.

Dr. Levy states, "All degradation is the loss of electrons, and all healing is the gain of electrons."

Light therapy, particularly in the visible region, can cause degradation and repair. The evidence indicates degradation is to "non-self." That is, not to you but to things harmful to you. This is what your immune system does, also.

How does the body know good from bad? That is a profound question, the answer to which may not be well known. Consider this example.

H. pylori infection is known to cause stomach ulcers. This discovery was made about 100 years ago. Fast-forward to the 1970s, when Warren and Marshall proved the connection, and we subsequently awarded them the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their efforts.

Note that it says "discovery." That is not true, but they provided unequivocal evidence.

How does this relate to red light therapy for cancer? It concerns how our "self" systems recognize and adapt to potential natural "harms." H pylori is not adapted to the strong acid of the gut, yet our beneficial microbiome is. H pylori releases an enzyme that leads to the production of ammonia (an antacid), so it can survive the hostile, acidic environment of the gut.

Light is highly energetic and potentially damaging to our skin and the tissue beneath it. However, the benefits of sunlight are proven to far exceed any adverse effects. We have clearly developed protective and healing mechanisms to compensate for any damaging effects.

IMPORTANT: WHAT MOLECULES IN OUR BODY ABSORB RED LIGHT? The answer is - ones that are already there. That means our body is already used to having red light interact with molecules that are part of "self," and thus know how to benefit from the effects of the light on these molecules while mitigating harm.


What is cancer? That's an interesting question. On the surface, it is the untethered growth of cells that can envelop and destroy tissue.

Besides the tumor or circulating cancer cells, cancer initiation must occur and the "host" - the person, must be vulnerable. Biomarker analysis points to infections as a substantial initiator. We know there are non-infectious initiators as well with asbestos being the most well-known. However, asbestos does not change biomarker values, BUT INFECTIONS DO!

Here are 2 blogs I have written that explain key biomarkers that are predictive of cancer and poor outcomes.

This one is about the ferritin-to-iron ratio.

This one is about the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio.

Here is a link to our book, "Cancer is an infectious disease."


Here is how red light plays a role and how Dr. Levy's statement relates to red light and cancer.

Red light is the weakest form of visible light but penetrates more deeply into the body than other wavelengths. Therefore, if the " hole " oxidizing power is sufficient to kill the pathogen (or destroy other cancer-causing antigens), then it is the best form of light therapy.

You might guess (correctly) that high intensities of the full spectrum of visible light offer the best therapeutic opportunity. However, red light systems with high intensities, thus high penetration, are readily available.

Also, the higher energy visible light wavelengths produce higher energy "holes," aka oxidizing power. This may have two (2) consequences.

  1. The excited states are less stable and last for very short periods of time, which may be insufficient for therapeutic purposes.

  2. The higher energy "holes" may cause more localized damage to "self."

However, for cancer sufferers, using high-intensity red light, red laser light AND high-intensity visible light offers the best chance of combating the infectious initiators of cancer.


Can red light therapy destroy the actual tumor cells? I believe the answer is yes. The oxidizing "holes" created by light therapy may kill the cancer initiators and the tumor. However, light is usually used in conjunction with highly light-sensitive molecules that can also absorb onto or penetrate into tumor cells. Read the previous blog on red light and cancer, reproduced below.

Dr. Michael Hamblin (retired) is the guru on photobiomodulation and cancer. In this 2018 article titled, Photobiomodulation and Cancer: What Is the Truth? he concludes:

Conclusions: PBM therapy may have benefits in cancer patients and should be further investigated.

What is unclear to me is if the photobiomodulation works as I describe above or actually destroys the growing cancer cells - or both.



Red light therapy drives 2 important mechanisms in the fight against cancer.

  1. Provides healing electrons,

  2. Provides oxidation to kill things that initiate cancer and tumor growth.

And it may cause oxidation and necrosis of the tumor itself, but this is much less studied.


Some supporting information on red light and cancer (to be published as a separate blog).

Jonathan Otto's team has asked me to present on red light as a cancer therapy.

Let me state that I believe that interacting with red light is beneficial. I more firmly believe that interacting with full-spectrum light is much more beneficial—those who advocate for red light therapy reason that it "activates" cytochrome C oxidase. When high-energy light interacts with a molecule that can absorb the light - an electron is "excited" into a higher-energy state. However, a "hole" is left behind, and this gives the molecule that interacted with the light both:

Oxidizing capability occurs when the molecule grabs an electron from something else, such as a pathogen's structure.

Reducing capability - the electron can be used to "heal" tissue or return an oxidized version of a molecule back to the "ground state" or stable state of the molecule.

The Absorption spectrum of cytochrome C oxidase

Hmmm - cytochrome C oxidase does NOT absorb red light! It DOES absorb higher energy yellow/orange light! Oops!

Where do we get yellow and orange light? Sunlight!

"According to the mainstream theory, the root cause for mitochondrial ATP upregulation in response to irradiation of cells with red-to-near infrared (R-NIR) light is the absorption of R-NIR photons by cytochrome c oxidase (CCO). Here, I show that this theory is inadequate for explaining the experimental results obtained in low-level light therapy (LLLT)."

The author of this study states, "This means the currently accepted theory used to explain ATP upregulation by R-NIR light is based on data which cannot be considered as ascertained. If CCO is the principal absorber for the photons that eventually drive the ATP synthase, ATP upregulation must depend on the absorbance profile of CCO.

Thus, irradiation with 415 nm light [maximum absorbance of both reduced CCO (17) and reduced cytochrome c (22) at 415 nm] is expected to result in an ATP output that is superior to that induced by R-NIR light. This expectation receives justification from the currently accepted mechanism of LLLT, in which the absorption of photons by CCO is the precondition for an upregulation in ATP levels (14-16).

Lewis's comment: This is not to say red light therapy is not beneficial. It simply means that the presumed mechanism - involving CCO - is not a complete picture. It also points to broad-spectrum light being the most advantageous.


Light is the source of essentially all energy. We get the benefits of light energy through food, which results from photosynthesis. We can look upon food as concentrated light therapy.

When you go out into the sun, do you suddenly experience a 1600% increase in energy? Biologist Gary Brecka implied that on Joe Rogan. Watch this.


What is the truth?

Our modern industrialized society largely eschews sunlight. I have written quite a bit on this topic, most of which is published in blogs. This link brings you to most of my content.

An important concept is that of a chromophore. Here is a definition.

Electronic transitions occur when the substance interacts with visible (including red light - but also all other visible light wavelengths (colors)) AND ultraviolet light. For example, certain molecules in our skin interact with UV light to produce vitamin D.

Vibrational transitions occur when the substance interacts with infrared light. This is a lower-energy process compared to those that create electronic transitions. Vibrational transitions result in heat. Microwaves, which are LOWER ENERGY compared to infrared energy, cause rotation, similar to vibrations, resulting in heat.

How many different chromophore substances are there in our body? To quote Carl Sagan - billions and billions of different ones!


Here are examples of 2 different photodynamic substances used in cancer therapy. One is the well-known methylene blue, one is much lesser known - called sonnelux - developed by a team that included me and is quietly used around the globe.

The main peak for methylene blue is at 664 nm, which is red light.

The red light absorption in sonnelux is at 636 nm. See below. That means, when red light is used to "activate" methylene blue, it is of LOWER ENERGY compared to sonnelux. Remember, E (energy) = h (a constant) time the frequency.

The smaller the wavelength number, the higher the frequency - thus, the higher the energy. However, if orange light is used to activate methylene blue, the activated form has MORE ENERGY compared to sonnelux, and could be a better anti-cancer agent.

Confusing? Maybe - but if you listen to me teach on electromotive potential, you will fully understand this concept.

I treat myself with both molecules, and I DO NOT USE RED LIGHT. I use high-intensity, full-spectrum light equivalent to what the sun puts out. Thus, when I take methylene blue sublingually, I get the form activated at 664 AND 613nm, with the 613nm form being the most energetic.

Here are some references on sonnelux anti-cancer treatment.


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"Dr. Levy states, "All degradation is the loss of electrons, and all healing is the gain of electrons." 🫶

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