As has been known for nearly 100 years, sun exposure protects against tuberculosis.

As has been known for nearly 100 years, sun exposure protects against tuberculosis.

By Marc Sorenson, for sun exposure and healthlungs sun exposure

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that has caused the death of millions of people, especially in the early part of the 20th Century, but evidence of TB infections date back to about 8,000 BC. The CDC estimates that one-third of the world’s population is infected with TB and that there are about 1.5 million deaths yearly from this lethal disease.[1]

Drugs have done wonders to help, but have not been effective in the complete eradication of TB.  However, there is a treatment that has been shown to be effective in nearly 100% of cases, and that treatment is sun exposure. Sun therapy (heliotherapy) was used in the early 20th Century to effectively treat TB patients, and Dr. Aguste Rollier’s records of 1,129 surgical TB cases showed that heliotherapy cured 87% of “closed cases” and 76% of “open cases.”  Among 158 patients with tuberculosis of the hip, 125 were cured and 102 “regained complete recovery of articular function.”[2] And according to one source, “During one period of time just following World War 1, 1,746 of the 2,167 tubercular patients who were under Rollier’s care completely recovered health. The only failures were among those who had allowed their tuberculosis to enter its most advanced stages.”[3]

It is worthy to note that the first case of drug-resistant TB has arrived in the US from Peru.[4] It is nearly 100% resistant to antibiotics and does not bode well for the country, since it could cause an immense killer epidemic. There seems to be no answer to the “superbug” that causes it.  Or is there an answer?  Could sun exposure provide answers to this latest health threat? The superbugs are upon us like a bad horror movie, and when they start to take over the earth, there will be one solution: UV light from sun exposure or sun lamps. We would be well advised to have our defenses set up in advance by enjoying daily sun in the early morning and at midday.

The latest research simply shows what we have known for a century. A study conducted in Chile on the prevalence of sun exposure compared to the incidence of TB, shows that there is an independent and highly significant inverse association between sun exposure and TB incidence rate. In other words, the greater the sun exposure, the lesser the risk of contracting TB.[5]

So, we have defined one more disease here that can be nearly eradicated by sunshine, not drugs. We must safely embrace the Sun to live our lives in good health.


[2] Clark, W. Treatment of Bone and joint tuberculosis with Tuberculin and Heliotherapy.  Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 1923;5:721-39.

[3] Fielder, J. Heliotherapy: the principles & practice of sunbathing. Soil and Health Library (online)


[5] Balcells ME, Cerda J, Concha , Hoyos-Bachiloglu R, Camargo C, Martineau A, Borzutzky A. Regional solar radiation is inversely correlated with incidence and severity of tuberculosis in Chile. Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Apr 3:1-9. doi: 10.1017/S0950268817000607. [Epub ahead of print]

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