In Switzerland Sun exposure helped prevent and cure tuberculosis (TB) long before the Advent of Antibiotics!

In Switzerland Sun exposure helped prevent and cure tuberculosis (TB) long before the Advent of Antibiotics!

By Marc Sorenson, EdD   Sunlight Institute…

I recently happened across new research that should be of interest to those who love the Sun. It gave a historical perspective of TB  that showed how the city of Bern, Switzerland wiped out most of their tuberculosis (TB) problems by using lifestyle changes, including a greater accessibility to sun.[1]

The authors studied the TB incidence in Bern during the period from 1856-1950. There were three areas of the city that were assessed for their historical TB problems. One was known as the Black Quarter, and in 1911 -1915 there were 550 cases per 100,000; another area was known as the City Center and had 327 cases per 100,000; a third area was known as the Outskirts, and had 209 cases per 100,000.

There were three living conditions that correlated closely to TB:

  1. Number of persons per room. A higher number predicted a greater risk of TB.
  2. A higher number of rooms without sunlight predicted a greater risk of TB.
  3. The number of windows per apartment predicted a diminished risk of TB

As the country worked to address these problems by improving living conditions, reducing room crowding, building open-air schools and building sanatoria, TB risk dropped from 330 cases per 100,000 in 1856 to 33 per 100,000 in 1950—a 90% drop! Sanatoria, by the way, were secluded hospitals that healed through good food, fresh air and sunlight.

The researchers concluded their paper with this statement: “Improved living conditions and public health measures may have contributed to the massive decline of the TB epidemic in the city of Bern even before effective antibiotic treatment became finally available in the 1950s.”

This is an important paper. It shows that natural methods, including sun exposure, were highly effective in decimating TB. Sanatoria may be needed again, as the superbugs, including TB superbugs, are now highly resistant to antibiotics.[2]

When the people avoid the sun, they set themselves up for disease. Instead, embrace the sun, but don’t burn. It is one of the best methods of disease prevention known to man, and it doesn’t produce any superbugs; in fact it kills them!

[1] Zürcher K, Ballif M, Zwahlen M, Rieder HL, Egger M, Fenner L. Tuberculosis Mortality and Living Conditions in Bern, Switzerland, 1856-1950. PLoS One. 2016 Feb 16;11(2):e0149195

[2] Moisse, K. Drug Resistant TB could bring back Sanatoria. ABC News October 2011.

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