By Dr. Phoebe Chow, ND
(Dr. Chow practices in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and has used Ozone in
her practice for many years.)
Healthy cells need oxygen. Most infections occur because of the invasion
of anaerobes that do not thrive in an oxygen-rich environment.
Deprivation of oxygen to the body, for example through polluted air,
sedentary lifestyle or junk food diet which require a lot of oxygenation
for elimination, encourages anaerobic microbes to proliferate. Over-growth
of harmful microbes will lead to breakdown of enzymatic reactions,
overload of metabolic wastes and ultimately cell death.
Under similar anaerobic conditions, cells tend to mutate to more primitive
life forms, turning from aerobic to anaerobic respiration for energy
synthesis. Nobel prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg in 1928 demonstrated that
the primary cause of cancer is the replacement of oxygen in the respiratory
chemistry of normal cells by the fermentation of sugar. The growth of
cancer cells is a fermentation process which can be initiated only in
the relative absence of oxygen.
Ozone is one of nature's most powerful oxidants. It is used in water
purification and sewage treatment and is now being applied medically
in Europe to treat everything from wounds and colitis to cancer, stroke
and AIDS. Yes, the same ozone in the atmospheric layer that is responsible
for shielding off ultra-violet light from the sun and oxidizing the pollutants
in the air can be produced from medical oxygen via electrical discharge.
It is administered as an ozone/oxygen (03/02) gas mixture. According
to the dosage and concentration range, medical ozone is a pharmaceutical
agent that exerts specific properties and a well-defined range of efficacy.
Properties of Medical Ozone
At the higher range of concentration (three and a half to five per cent
ozone in one/oxygen mixture) ozone exhibits a strong germicidal effect
by oxidative destruction. The oxidative power of ozone has proven to
be effective in destroying lipid-enveloped viruses such as Epstein
Barr, herpes, cytomegalovirus and viruses that cause hepatitis. One
recent study indicates that ozone treatment was 97 to 100 per cent
effective in destroying HIV in vitro.(Journal of American Society of
Hematology, October 1, 1992)
At concentrations below approximately three and a half per cent, the
three main restitutional properties of ozone can be observed by its oxidative
influence on the oxygen metabolism, the induction of specific enzymes
and the activation of immunocompetent cells. It is these systemic influences
of ozone that cause it to be such a potent therapeutic tool, because
most of the disease affecting humans today can be traced to diminishing
levels of oxygen and a compromised immune system.
Ozone Improves Oxygen Metabolism
Ozone improves the delivery of oxygen to hypoxic tissues, as well as
reactivating the oxygen metabolism of cells. The mechanisms of these
systemic actions involve both direct and indirect processes.
Ozone directly changes the electric charges of the erythrocyte membranes
increasing the flexibility and plasticity of the erythrocytes, thus enhancing
the flow properties of the blood and the transport of oxygen to the cells
and tissues. This is especially applicable in
arterial occlusion disease whereby "pile of coins" erythrocyte
formation is typical. The indirect mechanism consists of ozonolysis,
i.e. the ionizing reaction of ozone with the unsaturated fatty acids
in the cellular membrane producing peroxides.
It must be pointed out that ozone behave as an ion, not a free radical
under normal physiological blood pH and therefore no radical chain reaction
occurs to cause oxidative damages. The reaction activates the enzyme
2,3 Diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) in hemoglobin to release oxygen. This
is of particular importance to diabetics in which 2,3-DPG is depressed.
Ozone Induces Specific Enzymes
The formation of short-lived peroxides at the membrane are injected into
the cell and are removed by the enzyme glutathione peroxidase. Therefore,
it is recommended to supplement with vitamin E, N-acetyl-systeine and
selenium during ozone therapy to support the glutathione detoxification
system. In addition, the enhancement of the glycolysis enzymatic pathway
results in an increase in adenosine triphosphate production (energy
currency of the cells).
This is significant in the management of stroke and burns. The elevation
of adenosine triphosphate synthesis will decrease perifocal edema formed
in the injured site minimizing tissue necrosis and subsequent scarring.
But this is effective only when ozone is administered within the first
24 to 48 hours. In Germany, many ambulances are equipped with ozone an
it is injected intravenously in patients who have just suffered a stroke.
Ozone Activates Immune System
It is well documented that ozone can activate monocyte and lymphcocytes
and induced the production of an array of cytokines such as interleukin,
interferon, tumor-necrosis factor. (The Journal of International Medical
Research 1994) Its ability to elicit endogenous production of cytokines
and its lack of toxicity make ozone an indispensable therapeutic modality
since today's most devastating diseases are characterized by immune
depression such as chronic viral diseases, cancer and AIDS. Of course
restoration of the immune system depends on a total approach of detoxification,
lifestyle modification and supportive therapies.
Route of Administration
The are several ways to administer ozone, depending upon the condition
being treated. Autohemotherapy, which involves bland treatment exvivo
of blood with ozone and prompt reinfusion into the donor is the most
popular procedure among German physicians. Other methods include direct
infusion of a gaseous ozone/oxygen mixture either intravenously, or
intra-arterially (particularly in critical limbs ischemia).
It has been proven that even direct delivery of ozone into the blood
vessels has very low risk factors. No air which contains nitrogen ever
enters the body, so an air embolus cannot occur. Colorectal insufflation
of ozone/oxygen, much like an enema, has been used to treat colitis,
fistula and colon cancer. Ozone is also excellent for topical treatment
of infected wounds, ulcers and burns, especially those that are difficult
The modern development of ozone application in medicine began in the
1950s in Europe and gradually spread throughout Europe to Australia,
Israel, Cuba, Brazil an Columbia. As far back as World War 1, ozone
was used medically to treat wounds and other infections. Over 5000
physicians worldwide routinely use ozone in their medical practice.
I have personally used ozone in my own practice and found it to be
an effective therapy. When it is incorporated into a holistic approach
of cleansing there is virtually no known side effect of ozone treatment
if it is applied properly. However, since ozone therapy is dose-dependant,
it should be administered with supervision.
Specific therapeutic applications of ozone include the treatment of vascular
disease such as stroke, obstructive arteriopathy, venous insufficiency,
cancer, acute and chronic viral diseases, ulcers, infected wounds, gangrenes,
burns, inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn' disease, ulcerative
colitis and spinal disc problems. It is also used in dentistry as a disinfectant
and in pediatrics for the treatment of viral and bacterial infections
of the intestines. In geriatrics, its principal indication is in circulatory
disorders. In particular the increase of oxygen supply to the brain is
of great benefit.
Ozone, with all its miraculous properties and accompanied by its lack
of toxicity, is undoubtedly an important tool in medicine. It is an unusual
double-edged sword. It defends the body via stimulation of the immune
system and at the same time it improves oxygenation and metabolism. I
do believe that ozone deserves a place in the management of health and
disease. It is up to us, patients and physicians, to demand access to
this wonderful healing substances.