The Facts about Laser Therapy


Photobiological Principles of Therapeutic Applications of Laser Radiation
Biochemistry, Vol. 69, No. 1, January 2004, pp. 103-113
Yu. A. Vladimirov, A. N. Osipov, and G. I. Klebanov


1. Laser therapy is based on the stimulating and healing action of low-intensity lasers.

2. Too much or too strong of a laser can be deleterious to vital processes, and become a “hindrance to a successful application of laser therapy and a cause of disappointment.”

3. Low-intensity lasers are used to reduce pain, to treat edema, eczema, dermatitis, persisting ulcers, burns, diabetic foot, arthritis and sports rehabilitation.

4. A 632.8 nm laser increases the content of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and causes morphological changes in the mitochondria.

5. Laser radiation of blood vessels causes immediate vasodilatation, resulting in the “improvement of microcirculation and blood supply in organs.”

6. The newest theory for the biological action of visible light laser radiation is a photoreactivation of Cu-Zn superoxide dismutase anti-oxidant enzyme.

7. The photoreactivation of cellular superoxide dismutase (Cu-Zn-SOD), with a 632.8 nm laser, results in accelerated wound healing.

8. Low-intensity laser radiation also increases the activity or production of the antioxidant enzyme catalase and glutathione peroxidase, which converts residual hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.

9. Laser radiation reactivates the activity of the antioxidant enzymes catalase and superoxide dismutase. Both superoxide dismutase and catalase enzymes absorb at the laser light wavelength of 633 nm.

10. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) requires copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) to effectively detoxify the superoxide free radical.

11. The superoxide free radical is constantly formed during normal metabolism. The superoxide free radical is toxic for cells and tissues. The antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) reduces the concentration of superoxide radical, converting it to hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. If superoxide dismutase levels are low, the cells are injured. Low-intensity laser increases levels of superoxide dismutase.

12. The hydrogen peroxide produced by the action of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase is also a free radical. But, it is a paradoxical free radical. It is a good free radical, because it is bactericidal, killing pathogens. However, too much hydrogen peroxide produces the dangerous hydroxyl free radical. Hydrogen peroxide is converted to water and oxygen by the enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase. Low intensity laser increases levels of these two important antioxidant enzymes.

13. Excess free radical hydrogen peroxide is converted into water and oxygen by the antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase. [Glutathione requires the trace mineral selenium to effectively detoxify the free radical hydrogen peroxide.]

14. Other observed effects and mechanisms of low-intensity laser include:

A) Increased protein synthesis.
B) Increased bactericidal activity.
C) Activation of cell proliferation.
D) Accelerated and improved wound healing.
E) Improvement of blood microcirculation.
F) Regeneration of tissues.
G) Improved immunomodulation.
H) They are anti-inflammatory.

15. “Laser radiation at low doses makes a stimulating effect on cells, and, at high doses, a damaging one.” [Important]


This article presents evidence that low-level laser therapy works, in part, because they up regulate (increase the activity of) the genes that produce the three endogenous antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase.

Equally important, the endogenous antioxidant enzymes require minerals to effectively neutralize destructive free radicals.

Superoxide dismutase requires zinc, copper, manganese.

Glutathione peroxidase requires Selenium.

The incredible effectiveness of low-level laser therapy is further enhanced by supplementing with a balance of zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and riboflavin (which recharges depleted glutathione). Such a product has been developed by Nutri-West. It is called Laser-Min. Laser Minerals can also be topically applied to the skin with the Nutri-West product Laser Ice. Nutri-West’s phone number is (800) 443-3333.I primarily use the 635 nm line (not dot) laser from Erchonia. It has 8 laser beams, programmable to 100,000 frequencies, with enough power to get the job done without risking damage: (480) 633-3129 or (888) 242-0571.

A 1978 graduate of Western States Chiropractic College, Dr. Dan Murphy is on the faculty of Life Chiropractic College West, and is the Vice President of the International Chiropractic Association. For more information, visit

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