Let me share with you a remarkable breakthrough in medical research that provides a seemingly simple biohack to solve or at least manage an age related trouble that affect billions of people worldwide – declining eyesight.
I was drawn to it due to a couple of reasons. One is the ingenuity of the scientists who applied complex science for the common good to come up with a biohack that can’t be simpler, as it can be done by people at home with an inexpensive piece of equipment.
Secondly, the basic science behind this biohack is something I have passionately detailed in my new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’. This topic is mitochondria, the powerhouses inside our trillions of cells. I also detail the special connection mitochondria has with the human eye or more specifically with our retinas.
Imagine that the two cameras in our phones are always on, recording live videos of everything around us. What will happen to our phone’s battery then? It will be drained in an hour or so. Our eyes are doing the same kind of grueling, power-intensive work. That is why our retina cells have the highest concentration of power producing mitochondria in them.
But this also means that all these continuous activities – recording, processing and recharging – will take a toll on our retinas. Indeed, retinas have been found to be the fastest aging organ in the human body.
Now, coming to what this genius team of scientists at University College London (UCL) found out recently. They pioneered a breakthrough treatment for age related eyesight decline with a simple biohack – looking at a deep red light for 3 minutes a day. This trick works as deep red light can recharge mitochondria in the photoreceptor cells of the retina!
The declines in both color vision and dim light vision that come with age, improved with the red light treatment. And all it took is an LED torch that emits deep red light of 670 nanometers, which costs around 1000 rupees, and can be made cheaper if mass produced. It was a true biohack kind of innovation that the researchers gave the torches to the study participants themselves to use it at their homes.
But a word of caution to my readers. This technology is not mature enough and should not be attempted by yourself at home without medical supervision. Let it evolve and let us hope it will come to your family ophthalmologist soon enough, given the rapid pace of technology adoption these days.