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Red Light Reductionism

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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