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Systemic glucose levels are modulated by specific wavelengths in the solar light spectrum that shift mitochondrial metabolism

Powner, M. B. ORCID: 0000-0003-4913-1004 & Jeffery, G (2022). Systemic glucose levels are modulated by specific wavelengths in the solar light spectrum that shift mitochondrial metabolism. PLoS ONE, 17(11), e0276937. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0276937


Systemic glucose levels can be modulated with specific solar wavelengths that influence mitochondrial metabolism. Mitochondrial respiration can be modulated using light that shifts ATP production with exceptional conservation of effect across species, from insects to humans. Known wavelengths have opposing effects of photobiomodulation, with longer wavelengths (660–900 nm red/infrared) increasing ATP production, and 420 nm (blue) light suppressing metabolism. Increasing mitochondrial respiration should result in a greater demand for glucose, and a decrease should result in a reduced demand for glucose. Here we have tested the hypothesis that these wavelengths alter circulating glucose concentration. We first established an oral glucose tolerance test curve in a bumblebee model, which showed sustained increase in systemic glucose beyond that seen in mammals, with a gradual normalisation over eight hours. This extended period of increased systemic glucose provided a stable model for glucose manipulation. Bees were starved overnight and given a glucose load in the morning. In the first group glucose levels were examined at hourly intervals. In the second group, bees were additionally exposed to either 670 nm or 420 nm light and their blood glucose examined. Increasing mitochondrial activity with 670 nm light at the peak of circulating glucose, resulted in a significant 50% reduction in concentration measured. Exposure to 420nm light that retards mitochondrial respiration elevated systemic glucose levels by over 50%. The impact of 670 nm and 420 nm on mitochondria is highly conserved. Hence, different wavelengths of visible light may be used to modulate systemic metabolism bidirectionally and may prove an effective agent in mammals.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright: © 2022 Powner, Jeffery. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Optometry & Visual Sciences
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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