Far-infrared (FIR) is a form of thermal radiation, which may have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. Clinical studies suggest that FIR irradiation may have therapeutic effects in heart failure, myocardial ischaemia and may improve flow and survival of arteriovenous fistula. Animal studies have suggested a wide range of potential mechanisms involving endothelial nitric oxide synthase and nitric oxide bioavailability, oxidative stress, heat shock proteins and endothelial precursor cells. However, the exact cellular and molecular mechanism of FIR on the cardiovascular system remains elusive. The purpose of this review is to discuss the current literature, focusing on mechanistic studies involving the cardiovascular system, and with a view to highlighting areas for future investigation.
Keywords: Far-infrared; endothelial function; inflammation; nitric oxide; oxidative stress.