A study by University College London suggests that stimulating the mitochondria would slow the aging of the eyes.

Is red light the new weapon of the future to protect our eyes? In any case, this is what a study published in The Journals of Gerontology suggests. According to the researchers, a few minutes of exposure to red light would help prevent age-related vision loss. Indeed, scientists assure that this would give a new layer of protection to against the classic aging process. And the results would be quick. "You don't have to use it very long to start getting a solid result," says lead author Glen Jeffery, professor of neuroscience at the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London, quoted by CNN.

If this new kind of therapy were approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it would make this method available to as many people as possible. In detail, this exposure to red light would have the benefit of stimulating the health of mitochondria which function as batteries for the cells of the human body.
Improvement in people over 40

So far, this is an initial pilot study of just 24 people, twelve men and twelve women. Each participant received a small flashlight which emitted red light with a wavelength of 670 nanometers. They all looked at the light for three minutes every day for two weeks. In order to see the results, the researchers measured the sensitivity of each participant's eyes by asking them to detect light signals in the dark and to distinguish colored letters with low contrast. In this study, participants reported no adverse effects.

According to the researchers, there was a 14% improvement in the ability to see colors, or the sensitivity of the color contrast of the cones, for all participants. The improvement was most significant in study participants over 40 years of age. For these ages, the color contrast sensitivity of the cones increased by 20% during the study. These results should be confirmed in future studies involving more participants and with a control group. This age group also experienced a significant increase in the threshold of the stem, which corresponds to the ability to see in low light. “The retina ages faster than any other organ in your body. From an evolutionary point of view, we basically never lived after 40 years, ”underlines Glen Jeffery. Today, age-related macular degeneration is the number one cause of visual impairment in people over the age of 50 in developed countries.
The power of mitochondria

Researchers at University College London used small red lights to stimulate the retinal mitochondria to stop vision loss. This new study in humans is based on results obtained in flies and mice, which also showed that red light could improve the functioning of mitochondria. As CNN recalls, other studies have proven in the past the effectiveness of red light. One study had confirmed its usefulness for improving the mobility of flies and another had shown that it could improve the functioning of the retina by 25% in mice.

Mitochondria are involved in a wide range of diseases (Parkinson's disease and diabetes). “Each disease could have a mitochondrial angle. In diabetes, for example, your mitochondria are very upset, ”says Glen Jeffery. Before concluding: “We will all suffer from aging. So let's go slowly, if possible. ”