Photobiomodulation (PBM) refers to the beneficial effects of low-energy light absorption. Although there is a large body of literature describing downstream physiological benefits of PBM, there is a limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. At present, the most popular hypothesis is that light absorption induces release of nitric oxide (NO) from the active site of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), allowing it to bind O2 instead.

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