Dr. Jam Caleda N.D. Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre Naturopath YVR
3 min|Dr. Jam Caleda

Harnessing the Power of UV Light: Exploring Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy (UVBI)

As the vibrant Vancouver summer unfolds, the invigorating touch of sunlight graces Kitsilano beach, casting a warm glow on sun-kissed skin. While our skin soaks up UV rays to synthesize essential nutrients, have you ever wondered about the potential benefits of sunlight reaching deeper into our bodies? In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating world of Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation Therapy (UVBI) – a technique with a storied history and promising modern applications.

The Legacy of UVBI

Back in 1903, Dr. Neils Ryber Finsen's groundbreaking work earned him a Nobel Prize in the Physiology of Medicine. His innovative approach involved exposing the blood to UV light, leading to successful treatments for lupus and various skin conditions. This practice set the stage for further research, revealing UVBI's efficacy in combating once-deadly systemic infectious diseases.

A Historical Evolution

This therapy was a main conventional practice in hospitals in the United States and Europe until the 1940s, when pharmaceutical vaccines, antibiotics, and corticosteroids became the standard of care. However, ultraviolet blood irradiation therapy (UVBI) was still used by many researchers and doctors to treat infections and other immune dysfunction diseases.

Modern Applications and Advancements

Advancements in UVBI technology have paved the way for diversified protocols that extend beyond historical applications. Today, UVBI protocols contribute to managing autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular issues, fatigue, depression, and more. In Germany, UVBI complements cancer treatments, even aligning with chemotherapy and radiation. There are preliminary studies indicating that UVBI may be useful in treating HIV. A phototherapy machine has been approved by the FDA for clinical trials on people with HIV and Graft vs. Host disease.

How Does It Work?

UVBI is delivered by a polychromatic device (PCD). The PCD has numerous light sources for different wavelengths of light. The different wavelengths emit high energies ranging from ultraviolet to visible light. Each wavelength has a specific benefits:

  • Red supports detoxification enzymes and stabilizes normal DNA in cells.
  • Amber releases nitric oxide inside and outside the cells, which act to both dilate the blood vessels and improve cellular signalling.
  • Green supports the proper structure and function of red and white blood cells
  • Blue promotes the dilation of blood vessels, reduces inflammatory markers in the blood, and increase oxygen and nutrients to cells
  • UV light disinfects blood of any external pathogen, as well as support the structure and function of all blood cells.

Navigating Treatment

UVBI involves extracting blood and passing it through the PCD via an IV line, all within a closed system. This relatively painless procedure takes around 30-45 minutes, where approximately 100ccs of blood is re-circulated. Depending on the condition's severity, physicians may prescribe 3-4 weekly treatments for several weeks. Post-treatment resumption of normal activities is the norm.

What to Expect

People undergoing the treatment may experience an increase in energy, overall mood, and improvement in symptoms. It is possible to experience an exacerbation of symptoms or illness one day to 2 weeks after the procedure. This is due to an enhancement of immune system function, triggering a "Herxheimer reaction" as external pathogens face elimination.

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