Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is a coenzyme, much like plants, that stores the energy to support the metabolism in our cells!
ATP is also known as the Energy Currency of Life
Any source of energy a cell takes in is converted to ATP, in which form the mechanisms of the cell can easily use it. It does this by shedding a phosphate group, becoming adenosine diphosphate, or ADP, a highly energetic reaction that powers all of a cell's molecular machinery.
Adenosine triphosphate's chemical structure contains a relatively complex carbon-based molecule.
The ATP molecule is composed of three components. At the center is a sugar molecule, ribose (the same sugar that forms the basis of DNA). There is a base (a group consisting of linked rings of carbon and nitrogen atoms); in this case the base is adenine. The third is a string of phosphate groups. These phosphates are the key to the activity of ATP.
You’d think that something so vital would be stored up. However, we do not store ATP but manufacture it on an as needed basis via ATP Synthesis.
How can Microcurrents help stimulate ATP?
Microcurrent emits tiny electrical impulses that mimic the body’s own electrical signals, increasing the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by as much as 500%. Microcurrent stimulation between 200-800 microamps is a way of supercharging the tissue with ATP, which will reside there until needed. By this means, much of the research that shows an increase in healing rate can be explained as it applies to many other conditions.
Microcurrent therapy offers a unique and wonderful answer to tissue healing. Clinically, microcurrent therapy is also a therapy of choice for hyper-acute injuries in that it produces little if any sensation. It should also be remembered or known that in addition to its uniqueness, microcurrent therapy shares many of the qualities of other electric therapies: namely for application in pain control, muscle relaxation and nerve re-education. It also stands somewhat unique in its ability to increase vascular permeability and in its use as a means of electro-acupuncture.
A microcurrent instrument delivers a direct current (DC), and so the nature of its electrical flow is the same. A typical circuit in which electrons flow from the cathode to the anode, while current, in the form of negative ions, flows from the anode to the cathode. The negative ions can be thought of as an offset to the electrons which flow the other way. This comprises the circuit.
In the instantaneous moment, both hydrogen and hydroxyl ions are forms around both pad electrodes. However, over time, the ionic environment becomes hydrogen around the anode electrode and hydroxyl around the cathode electrode. Because it is hydrogen that leads to the creation of ATP, it then follows that as a residual effect after the microcurrent stimulator is turned off, ATP production continues at the site.
Now let's talk ATP and Oxygen...
ATP is formed in the presence of oxygen in the process known as aerobic cellular respiration. When oxygen is not available to break down the carbohydrates that enable muscle contraction, the body continues to create ATP through anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration results in less ATP production and in the waste product lactic acid.
If oxygen is present, the process continues and is completed in the mitochondria, creating an abundance of ATP. If oxygen is not present, the process continues in the TCA cycle. This anaerobic process creates only 5 percent of the energy created when oxygen is present. When muscle cells exhaust their oxygen supply, they must use anaerobic respiration to continue to function.
Now what about LED Light Therapy and ATP?
The principle of red light therapy can be thought of as like a human version of the way plants photosynthesize. It is thought that certain wavelengths of light can enhance the functioning of mitochondria, which are the organelles in a cell which take in nutrients and break them down to create energy molecules for the cell. By enhancing the cellular respiration, it will improve the functioning of the whole cell.
The main benefits of red light therapy are thought to have come from the energy exchange. The responses of cells and tissues to red light therapy, which does not itself produce much heat, can be comparable to the body’s reaction to heat. Certain wavelengths of red light can penetrate beyond the skin’s surface, where it is absorbed into the cells deeper than other wavelengths of visible light can.