Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (2)

Sun Therapy for Tuberculosis?

I was interested to see this news piece about how Vitamin D may improve the body’s ability to fight off Tuberculosis.  Vitamin D is found in some foods, but can also be created in your body when it’s exposed to UV light.  In the 1940’s Tuberculosis sanitoriums used “heliotherapy” (sun exposure) as a modality to treat TB.  I had often wondered about the utility of such treatments – with this photo etched in my mind.  And now it seems that they had it right.

Of course, we don’t know how many of those patients developed skin cancers later in life…  (Always a trade off, isn’t there?)  In the US, milk and orange juice are fortified with Vitamin D – however in Britain they have no such requirement and they are seeing an increase in TB cases.  “Got Milk?” only works if it’s “Got Vitamin D Fortified Milk?” I guess…This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

2 Responses to “Sun Therapy for Tuberculosis?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t realize TB was still an issue. Will try to learn more. Thanks.

  2. ValJonesMD says:

    TB is still around for sure… I’ve seen many patients with TB in New York City (where I used to practice).  There have been frightening reports of a new strain of TB that is super resistant to antibiotics… we should keep an eye out for this tenacious bug! 

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »