Mon, 27 Aug 2007
FDA Agrees to review Data for UBI
The last two decades have seen an escalation of immune-related illnesses such as fibromyalgia (FM), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), allergic conditions and HIV/AIDS. This has led to a revival of interest among medical practitioners worldwide regarding the ability of ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) in the treatment of such disorders.
This procedures involves extracting 100 ml of the `patient’s blood, irradiating it with ultraviolet light, and then returning it to the patient’s body in a sterile, closed-loop system.
As a simple, non-toxic, Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved procedure, UBI is a potent immune system stimulant, and was used extensively worldwide between 1930 and 1965 for the successful treatment of a wide range of advanced viral and bacterial illnesses. Not only did it demonstrate potent antiviral and antibacterial effects, but it also had the huge advantage of producing no serious documented side-effects after being administered to more than 30,000 patients over a period of 70 years.1
The dramatic advances in antibiotics, vaccines and corticosteroids in the 1950s unfortunately put a halt to the growing interest in UBI at the time. Even though it was illogical to set aside a therapy that could treat viral diseases that were impervious to antibiotics, such as chronic hepatitis and viral pneumonia, interest in UBI only began to resurface in the ’80s and ’90s when the limitations of antibiotics and steroids in treating chronic auto-immune illnesses became obvious.
UBI presents an interesting and relatively low-cost alternative for patients willing to try this therapeutic modality, with international feedback on the response of auto-immune conditions to UBI showing great promise. Steps have been taken to arrange protocols at a few major university medical research centres in the United States. The focus will be on the treatment of HIV, hepatitis, malaria and those viruses immune to current antibiotics.2
UBI has proved to be highly effective in treating bacterial infections, including septicaemias, pneumonia, wound infections, peritonitis and typhoid. Its efficacy has also been noted in treating profound toxaemias, where it has often served as a life-saving measure.3
How UBI works
The US Foundation for Blood Irradiation (FFBI) manual emphasizes that UBI is a non-specific therapy, as its exact mode of operation is unknown. There are repeated suggestions in many archaic articles, modern lay publications and physicians’ websites, however, of UBI acting as a powerful immune stimulant.4
Laboratory studies have demonstrated that UV light deactivates viruses and bacteria. Clinically, the general hypothesis is that UBI penetrates and destroys viral and bacterial walls (but not white and red blood cells), with the residual debris stimulating an antibody-antigen reaction, facilitating destruction of intact viruses and bacteria by macrophage (a large scavenger cell) white blood cells.
Physiologically, UBI has been shown to:
* increase blood oxygen levels5
* deactivate bacteria, viruses and fungal growth6
* cause a detoxification effect, deactivating both snake venoms and bacterial toxins7
* enhance phagocytosis (engulfing of foreign matter/debris/microbes/tumour cells) by activated macrophage cells
* cause vasodilatation and decrease edema8
* activate steroids and cortisone-like molecules (sterols) including vitamin D
* control nausea and vomiting.9
The blood that is exposed to the ultraviolet light continues to emit secondary radiation and some scientists believe that this may be the way that ultraviolet blood irradiation has cumulative effects. Each treatment also builds on and enhances the effects of previous treatments.
Gynecologist, Dr Sterna Franzsen, has a special interest in treating allergic conditions and CFS, and reports that her patients with eczema or CFS improved noticeably, either totally or in part, after receiving UBI treatment. ‘With severe eczemas, which do not respond to dietary intervention, UBI is the only viable alternative to cortisone’, she says. ‘Thus, UBI is a breakthrough therapy for many of these patients. It is certainly not infallible and there is no guarantee that UBI will work for all patients, especially those with auto-immune illnesses. But having said that, I don’t know of any medical treatment that works 100% of the time.’
Port Elizabeth-based medical practitioner, Dr Charles Wildervanck, has also noted significant improvements in patients treated with UBI therapy for severe eczemas as well as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and cancer.
In the case of CFS, international and local case studies demonstrate a clinical improvement in 60 – 80% of the patients treated. The response of FM patients to UBI is more encouraging with both local and international case studies showing a partial or total remission of symptoms in up to 100% of sufferers exposed to UBI therapy.
However, until definitive clinical trials are published confirming the efficacy of UBI in treating specific auto-immune illnesses such as CFS and FM, sufferers who undertake UBI treatment need to understand that they are doing so on the basis of case study results, and clinical trials conducted on other viral and bacterial infectious disorders.
The future of UBI
According to the American Foundation For Blood Irradiation (FFBI), studies are in process to evaluate the use of UBI in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, malaria and CFS.10
The FDA agreed recently to review data it will receive from Michigan State University on the effectiveness of UBI in treating AIDS. Johns Hopkins University and the National Cancer Institute are also researching the uses of UBI.11
A copy of the references is available from the SAJNM office, Tel 021-880 1444