The Tissues of the Human Body
The epidermis is an epithelial tissue that covers and protects. It is compromised of various layers of cells with no blood or lymphatic circulation. The epithelial cells move from the deep skin to the surface where they are removed, once they are dead, by desquamation; the entire process lasts 21 to 28 days. The epidermis is linked to the dermis by an area known as the dermo-epidermal junction, which in appearance is like a wavy line.
Under the epidermis is the dermis that houses the areterial, venous and lymphatic circulation. Like all connective tissue, it houses fibroblasts within an extra-cellular matrix that performs the synthesis of collagen and elastin fibres. The dermis is responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin, and, due to its microcirculation, it nourishes the cells of the underlying epidermis.
Under the skin, which is made up of the dermis and epidermis, is the hypodermis or subcutaneous fat layer. If this layer contains exccess water or fat, it gives rise to orange peel skin and cellulite that affects primarily the lower half of the body.
The arterial circulation ends at the dermis and brings nourishment to the dermis and the epidermis; the venous and lymphatic circulation systems begin here. These two fluid pathways form the circulation systems that eliminate toxins and waste.
In humans, adipose tissue is located beneath the skin (subcutaneous fat), around internal organs (visceral fat), and in the bone marrow (yellow bone marrow). Adipose tissue contains several cell types, with the highest percentage of cells being adipocytes, which contain fat droplets.
Adipocytes are the cells that specialize in storing energy as fat. There are two types of adipose tissue, white adipose tissue (WAT) and brown adipose (BAT), which are also known as white fat and brown fat, respectively, and comprise two types of fat cells.
White fat cells or monovacuolar cells contain a large lipid droplet surrounded by a layer of cytoplasm. The fat stored is in a semi-liquid state, and is composed primarily of triglycerides and cholesteryl ester. Brown fat cells or plurivacuolar cells have considerable cytoplasm, with lipid droplets scattered throughout. The brown colour comes from the large quantity of mitochondria. Its main function is to be a reserve of lipids, which can be burned to meet the energy needs of the body.
The Mechanism of Red Light Therapy
When energy is required the brain sends signals to the adipose cells to breakdown the stored fat, this process is called Lipolysis. During this process, free fatty acids are released into the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body.
Chromophores are part of a molecule responsible for its colour which can absorb certain wavelengths of visible light. The target chromophore for lipolysis is the mitochondria of the adipose cells. The light emitted creates a photobiomodulation within the adipose cells. This biomodulation signals a change in the cells chemistry inside each adipose cell which forces a temporary change in the cell membrane creating pores of channels in the cell wall.
Energy is stored in the adipose cells as triglycerides, the alteration of the cell chemistry triggers the release of a lipase enzyme which can break the triglyceride molecules down into fatty acids and glycerol molecules which are now small enough to pass through the pores of the cell.
Once the cell contents are evacuated into the interstitial tissue they are then picked up by the lymphatic system for transport to the body for use as energy.
After treatment exercise is essential as this creates a demand for the newly released energy, thus using the fat that was stored in the targeted adipose cells.
Red Light (635nm) is proven to photo-chemically releases fat from the cells to achieve inch loss, however the process is dependent on the body metabolizing the released fat in order for the inch loss to occur.