by Dr. Paul Jaconello, MD
During my 30-year practice as a medical doctor, I have grown increasingly concerned about the rising rate of chronic illness in our society. Its impact on our overburdened health care system will only increase over time. From an aging population with increasing rates of dementia and Alzheimer’s, to alarming numbers of children with autism and other developmental disorders, to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and superbugs breeding in hospitals, the threats to public health are many.
At the same time, I feel a renewed sense of optimism now that ozone therapy is making a comeback in North America. In fact, medical grade ozone could soon be used as a powerful tool for both disease prevention and for integrative treatment of illness. In low concentrations, ozone can be utilized in medical clinics as well as at home.
What is Ozone Therapy?
Ozone molecules are a highly reactive form of oxygen molecule. Ozone molecules (O3) are produced by splitting oxygen molecules (O2) in a Corona Discharge Ozone Generator. More specifically, O2 is fed into the generator by an oxygen tank. By splitting the O2 (oxygen molecule) which contains two oxygen atoms sharing two electrons (a stable molecule), the result is two single oxygen atoms. These single atoms don’t have enough electrons so the negative and positive charges are not balanced and it has an unpaired electron.
This form of oxygen molecule cannot last on its own and some will bind instantly with an oxygen molecule thus forming ozone molecules (O3). Now here are three oxygen atoms sharing the amount of electrons that only make two oxygen atoms happy and this produces a very reactive molecule with the potential to create many desired biological reactions. When ozone comes into contact with the human body it reacts instantaneously.
Anti-Aging Effects of Ozone
There are said to be 10 million billion mitochondria in an adult human (10% of the entire body). Mitochondria have many functions, being described as “the powerhouse of the cell” because they generate most of the cell’s supply of ATP, which is used as a source of chemical energy for the entire body. This is where ozone has potential benefits for enhancing energy production.
As the aging body loses its ability to utilize oxygen over time, the rate of free radical damage escalates and leads to mitochondrial decay. This aging process increases free radical formation and decreases antioxidant buffering capacity. Both processes lead to mitochondrial decay called “functional hypoxia” which again generates excessive free radicals and deprives the cells of vital functions including the repair mechanism, membrane polarization, and enzyme synthesis.
Since decreased oxygen utilization is the primary cause of degenerative disease, the treatment of all diseases including autoimmune disorders, cancer, and cardiovascular disease is greatly enhanced in the presence of optimal oxygen utilization. This is why ozone therapy can have a role to play in virtually every case of chronic disease. So the starting point of your life is genetically predetermined and fixed, but what is not inevitable is the rate of decay. The better your oxygen utilization, the better your mitochondria energy production. This can be positively influenced by ozone.
Medical grade ozone works to stimulate production of certain enzymes that release the bound oxygen from red blood cells, making more oxygen available to the cells at large. Ozone also induces the production of an array of cytokines which enhance our immune system’s response to stress.
As well, ozone’s lack of toxicity makes it a very useful therapeutic modality, especially since today’s most devastating illnesses such as viral diseases, cancer, and AIDS are characterized by immune suppression. Of course, restoration of the immune system depends on a holistic approach of detoxification, lifestyle modification, and supportive therapies and appropriate medical therapies.
Therapeutic Applications for Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Dental Infections, and More
Medical use of ozone therapy is also indicated in the treatment of vascular disease such as stroke, arteriosclerosis, venous insufficiency, cancer, acute and chronic viral disease, ulcers, infected wounds, gangrene, burns, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and spinal disc problems. It is also used in dentistry as a disinfectant, and in pediatrics for treatment of viral and bacterial infections of the intestines.
Furthermore, recent studies by Russian and French doctors have shown dramatic results in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with ozone therapy. Here, ozone’s abilities as a circulatory enhancer and cell rejuvenator come into play. German doctors have also had success with Parkinson’s, MS, and other nervous system disorders.
At high concentrations (3.5% – 5%), ozone exhibits a strong germicidal effect by oxidative destruction. As a result, the oxidative power of ozone has been proven effective in destroying viruses such as Epstein Barr, herpes, and hepatitis. (Journal of American Society of Hematology; October 1992). Scientific studies have proven that ozone, properly administered into the body in repeated applications, inactivates viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and carcinomas in diseased cells.
Ozone Therapy Around the World
Ozone was first discovered and named by German scientist Christian Frederick Schonbein in 1840. Ozone therapy is now commonly used in Europe. Here are some highlights of ozone research and history:
• In Germany, Werner von Siemens developed the first ozone generators in 1857. Also in Germany, the first report of ozone being used to purify blood in test tubes was published by Dr. C. Lender in 1870.
• The first American therapeutic use of ozone was done by Dr. John H. Kellogg in ozone steam saunas at his Battle Creek, Michigan sanitarium in 1880. He described the treatment in his book, Diphtheria: Its Nature, Causes, Prevention and Treatment. The ozone steam sauna has now been resurrected 100 years later.
• In 1893, the world’s first water treatment plant using ozone was installed in Ousbaden, Holland. Today, over 3000 municipalities around the world use ozone to clean their water and sewage, including some very large cities.
• In September 1896, the electrical genius Nikola Tesla patented his first ozone generator, and in 1900 he formed the Tesla Ozone Co. Tesla sold ozone machines and ozonized olive oil to doctors for medical use.
• In 1898, Thauerkauf and Luth started The Institute for Oxygen Therapy Healing in Berlin. They experimented with injecting ozone-bonded-to-magnesium in a catalytic process to produce ‘Homozon’ by Dr. Eugene Blass in 1898.
• In 1898, Dr. S.R. Beckwith, a homeopathic doctor in New York, published a booklet describing the use of his invention, the Thermo-Ozone Generator, in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases.
• In 1902, J.H. Clarke’s A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, published in London, described the successful use of ozonated water (“Oxygenium”) in treating anemia, cancer, diabetes, influenza, morphine poisoning, canker sores, strychnine poisoning, and whooping cough.
• In 1902, a local paper reported that Dr. Charles Linder, MD, of Spokane, Washington had been injecting ozone as part of his standard medical practice.
• In 1904, a New York chemist, Charles Marchand, published the 19th edition of his book, The Medical Uses of Hydrozone (ozonated water) and Glycozone (ozonated olive oil). The book is currently in the Library of Congress with the U.S. Surgeon General’s stamp of approval on it.
• In 1926, Dr. Otto Warburg, of the Kaiser Institute in Berlin, announced his discovery that a major cause of cancer is a lack of oxygen at the cellular level. In 1931, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on the oxygen-transferring enzyme of cell respiration, and in 1944 was awarded a second Nobel Prize for his discovery of a hydrogen-transferring enzyme. Dr. Warburg is the only person ever to receive two Nobel Prizes for Medicine. His research showed that a primary cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by the fermentation of sugar.
• In 1929, a book called Ozone and Its Therapeutic Action was published in the U.S., listing 114 diseases and how to treat them with ozone. Its 40 authors were the heads of all the leading American hospitals.
• In 1930, the Swiss dentist Dr. E. Fisch used ozone in dentistry, and wrote many papers on his success with it. He also introduced ozone to the Austrian surgeon Dr. Erwin Payr in 1932.
• Dr. Aubourg and Dr. Lacoste were French physicians using ozone insufflation from 1934 to 1938. Aubourg wrote the book Medical Ozone: Production, Dosage and Methods of Clinical Application in 1938. He administered ozone rectally, vaginally, injected into wounds, and by inhalation.
• In 1952, the National Cancer Institute verified Dr. Otto Warburg’s findings regarding lack of oxygen being a cause of cancer.
• In 1954, Frank Totney published the report: “Oxygen: Master of Cancer”
• In 1957, Dr. J. Hansler patented an ozone generator that has formed the basis of the expansion in German ozone therapy over the last 40 years. Today, thousands of German doctors administer ozone therapy daily.
• In 2011, the ‘American Association of Ozone Therapy’ was established and is currently the centre of education on ozone in North America.
• Today, after 125 years of usage, ozone therapy is recognized in Germany, Italy, France, Russia, Romania, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, four Canadian provinces, and 14 U.S. states.
Types of Ozone Administration
Medical grade ozone can be applied as a gas, dissolved in liquid, or dispersed in oil. Depending on the condition being treated, different routes of administration of ozone therapy can be used.
• AUTOHEMOTHERAPY: This involves the mixing of drawn blood with ozone, followed by prompt reinfusion into the donor. It is one of the most popular procedures among German physicians. Another method includes infusion of a gaseous ozone / oxygen mixture intravenously, however this procedure is the most contentious application and is not advocated by the American Association of Ozone Therapy.
• RECTAL INSUFFLATION: With this approach, the colon is targeted, with extra effect as the ozone spreads throughout the system in the bloodstream. Since the portal vein from the colon goes directly to the liver, that is where most of the ozone will end up. That is great for the liver and other organs. It’s mainly recommended for treatment of colitis, ileitis, Crohn’s disease, IBS, or cancer.
• VAGINAL INSUFFLATION: With the application of vaginal insufflation, about 80% of the ozone gas goes directly into the lymph system and is therefore very effective for lymphatic drainage; it is appropriate for treating any inflammatory abdominal condition in women.
• EAR INSUFFLATION: With this approach, the ozone enters the ear canal and passes through the eardrum, which is semi-permeable. There, it oxidizes anything that is growing (e.g. fungi). After that, it will travel on to the eyes, and into the brain, oxidizing any toxins it comes into contact with. That is why ear insufflation is a useful treatment for eye problems, as well as epilepsy and brain cancer. It can be beneficial for ear infections, macular degeneration, pink eye, head colds, influenza, bronchitis, asthma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and even brain cancer.
• OZONE STEAM SAUNA (also known as Transdermal Ozone) is a method in which ozone is introduced into the body via the skin while sitting in a hot steam cabinet. As the pores of the skin open in response to being surrounded by warm steam, ozone enters the body transdermally (through the skin). The ozone then penetrates through the skin and eventually finds its way into the bloodstream, lymph, and fatty tissue. The sweating process also induces the toxins out of the body, where they will be rendered harmless when reacted upon by ozone and oxygen. The ozone will react with the surface of the skin as well, and the oxygen and ozone reactive products will be absorbed and eventually find their way into the bloodstream.
• BOEX (Body Ozone Exposure) with a steam cabinet can easily be done at home with a minimum of technical skill, and many enjoy it as a spa treatment or in health maintenance programs. A growing number of physicians and patients have expressed enthusiasm for the steam cabinet method for treating a wide variety of health complaints, although more scientific research needs to be done. In addition, standardized protocols need to be developed for this relatively new form of ozone application.
Dr. Bocci, considered by many to be the top expert on ozone therapy in Europe, points out that this treatment is simple to perform, fairly inexpensive, non-invasive (no puncturing of veins), and it does not involve the handling of blood. He also points out that BOEX can be potentially useful in treating a variety of health problems such as viral diseases (including HIV and herpes), as well as chronic fatigue syndrome and circulatory diseases when used at low temperatures (such as hind limb ischemia due to atherosclerosis, Buerger disease, and diabetes). He has also reported success with moderate burns, skin diseases, scleroderma, some types of muscular-tendinous lesions in athletes, and advanced lipodystrophies such as Madelung disease.
As with other ozone therapies, Dr. Bocci recommends the “start low, go slow” protocols, with low initial concentrations of ozone to help the body adapt to chronic oxidative stress. He recommends a course of therapy every other day for several weeks, at temperatures from 70 to 90 degrees celsius for periods of 10 to 25 minutes each treatment. (Personally I find that transdermal ozone therapy is one of the most powerful methods of detoxifying and oxygenating the body.)
• OZONATED WATER: When we refer to ozonated water, we mean water of a high concentration up to 100 gammas, which means the water is maximally saturated with ozone. This might not be the most powerful application, but drinking ozonated water is a good and easy way of getting ozone into the system. The recommended dose is one to two glasses on an empty stomach. It is great for dealing with candida and other undesired infestations like parasites in the gut. Unfortunately, ozonated water cannot be purchased by the bottle in a retail location because its potency decreases by half within the first half hour of its creation, and its shelf life can only be extended by a few hours if the bottle is of a dark colour and kept at a temperature of around 4 celsius.
• PROLOZONE is a form of non-surgical ligament reconstruction and is a permanent treatment for chronic pain. Prolozone is a connective tissue injection therapy of collagen-producing substances and ozone gas which can reconstruct damaged connective tissue around joints.
Other application methods, maybe less widely used, include: External Limp bagging, breathing ozonated olive oil, and ozone cupping.
In a time when outbreaks of infections like SARS, Ebola, and now Zika virus continue to be a threat, ozone therapy should become part of everyone’s health treatment tool kit.