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Ultraviolet Blood Therapy

Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UVBI), also known as photodynamic or photoluminescent therapy, is an effective treatment for many chronic diseases.  Ultraviolet light was first used in the early 1900’s in Denmark to treat people suffering from Lupus. Later on in the 1920s the technique of exposing the blood to UV light outside of the body was developed. Small amounts of a patient’s blood are drawn and exposed to ultraviolet light and then re-administered to the patient. UBVI was used in hospitals using the “Knott method” until antibiotics and steroids gained popularity in the 1950s. The Knott machine was used for pneumonia, polio, wounds, hepatitis and other immune diseases and infections. Recent development of antibiotic resistant infections has resulted in once again turning to UVBI for chronic conditions.

Infections Treatable with Ultraviolet Light

  • Viral
  • Bacterial
  • Fungus

Autoimmune Conditions

UVBI also has the ability to regulate the immune system in autoimmune conditions. Various wavelengths of ultraviolet light can be used to customize an antimicrobial or immune regulating response depending on the patient’s condition. UVBI treatment has a very complex effect on the immune system. It has the ability to stimulate the immune system in infection through acting on white blood cells, and to decrease an overactive immune response in autoimmune conditions through its activity on t-cells. T-cells absorb more light and are therefore destroyed by UVBI slowing down the autoimmune response. UVBI is also beneficial through its action on the red blood cells to decrease coagulation and increasing glutathione and activating macrophages.

Even though only a small amount of the patient’s blood is treated, it sets off a cascade in the immune system, which has an effect on the whole body. UVBI has a number of biochemical and physical effects on the body.

Physical Effects

  • Increase in white blood cells
  • Increase in lymphocytes
  • Lowering of fibrin
  • Increase in oxygen concentration of the blood
  • Reduction of blood lactate
  • Increase in phagocytosis

For more information, contact our naturopathic doctors at the Nardella clinic in Calgary.