Ozone gas (O3) as a medical treatment and therapy has been used since the 1840s. Due to its unstable molecular structure and misunderstanding as an air pollutant, it was labeled as an ineffective and unreliable form of treatment and therapy; however, through modern-day research and the increased collection of clinical data since it’s early use, evidence shows O3 is effective in treating immune dysfunction and acute and chronic disease.
Symptoms of Oxygen Deficiency
The reaction of our cells to decreased oxygen utilization is similar to how our entire bodies react to a lack of oxygen, or hypoxia. Imagine what happens when a plastic bag is placed over your head eliminating all access to oxygen. After a short time, your organs are no longer able to function and ultimately you will die. This same process happens to our cells, depriving them of their ability to perform vital functions and increases free radicals resulting in degeneration and destruction of those cells. Most people suffer from certain levels of oxygen deficiency with symptoms ranging in degree. Clinical signs of significantly reduced oxygen utilization include:
- Shortness of breath
- Exercise intolerance
- Sensitivity to cold
- Chronic disease
- Generalized pain
- Hormonal imbalances
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Decreased methylation
- Medications with mitochondrial toxicity
Many of these symptoms impact the ability to perform daily tasks and can lead to more serious and chronic ailments. In addition to hypoxia, decreased oxygen utilization causes increased toxicity from things such as air quality, environment, diet, and lifestyle. Poor use of oxygen also increases the risk of and spread of infection within the body. With proper oxygen utilization through customized ozone treatments, the discomforts of these symptoms and ailments may be greatly improved.
How does Ozone therapy work?
Studies show the link between diseases and oxygen utilization is significant. According to the President of the American Academy of Ozonotherapy, Dr. Shallenberger, aging and the diseases of aging are caused primarily by a decrease in oxygen utilization. Ozonotherapy floods the body with oxygen increasing the utilization of oxygen at the cellular level. This helps reduce inflammatory symptoms that cause pain, bringing balance to the immune system, and increasing the body’s antimicrobial fighting capacity.1
The latest published research confirms the impact of ozone therapy on the immune system including:
- Decreases inflammation
- Increases production and function of red blood cells
- Increases key anti-oxidant enzymes helping to achieve optimal cell balance
O3 activates a complicated biological cascade of events that and releases biologically active molecules in response to mild and moderate, oxidative stress. O3 causes mild oxidative stress because of its capacity to diffuse in the liquid component of plasma. It reacts with fatty acids and water, which creates hydrogen peroxides, a reactive oxygen species. Synchronously, the moderate oxidative stress increases activation of a transcriptional factor mediating nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related fact (Nrf2). Nrf2 is responsible for activating antioxidant response elements (ARE). The antioxidant enzymes created include superoxide dismutase (SOD, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and others. These antioxidants act as free radical scavengers that are clinically pertinent to a wide variety of diseases. Multiple studies have provided evidence that O3 therapy increases activation of the Nrf2 pathway via the initiation of moderate oxidative stress. This causes an increase in peroxides and enhances the number of anti-oxidants that rebalance the body’s homeostasis system.
When bacteria are exposed to O3 the phospholipids, and lipoproteins within the cell walls become oxidized diminishing the stability of the bacterial cell. This is how O3 is effective when used with antibiotics. Evidence has also shown O3 to behave similarly with fungal cell walls as with bacteria. O3 disrupts the integrity of the pathogen cell walls and infiltrates the pathogen to oxidize its glycoproteins, glycolipids, and block its function. These reactions cause interference of fungi growth and cause destruction of bacteria and fungi. In viruses, O3 has shown to inhibit viral reproduction via oxidation of lipoproteins, and glycoproteins.3
In the immune system, O3 has shown to have multifaceted effects when reacting with fatty acids. As it activates reactive oxygen species or peroxides, it increases the production of certain cytokine signaling molecules in the immune system. These are proteins that regulate the activities of the white blood cells that are responsible for immunity. These cytokines regulate and initiate immune system response mechanisms as well as increase macrophages and leukocytes. Additional studies have shown evidence of anti-inflammatory effects by significantly decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines without toxicity or severe side effects.
O3 has been shown to be useful for a wide spectrum of diseases processes and pathologies. These include but not limited to acute and chronic infections, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, metabolic dysfunction, ocular conditions, skin disorders, joint conditions, gastrointestinal conditions, genitourinary conditions, neurological conditions and as well as in oncology.4 If any of these conditions affect you, talk to your provider about how O3 therapy may help you on your health journey. Or give us a call at Regen IV Wellness to set up a consultation with our provider.
1) Shallenberger, F. (2011). Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy: A Practical guideline for physicians. Carson City, NV
2) Rowen R. J. (2018). Ozone therapy as a primary and sole treatment for acute bacterial infection: case report. Medical gas research, 8(3), 121–124. doi:10.4103/2045-9912.241078
3) Aaron J. Smith, John Oertle, Dan Warren, Dino Prato (2015) Ozone Therapy: A Critical Physiological and Diverse Clinical Evaluation with Regard to Immune Modulation, Anti-Infectious Properties, Anti-Cancer Potential, and Impact on Anti-Oxidant Enzymes. Open Journal of Molecular and Integrative Physiology,05,37-48. doi: 10.4236/ojmip.2015.53004
4)Smith, N. L., Wilson, A. L., Gandhi, J., Vatsia, S., & Khan, S. A. (2017). Ozone therapy: an overview of pharmacodynamics, current research, and clinical utility. Medical gas research, 7(3), 212–219. doi:10.4103/2045-9912.215752
2 Rowan, 121-124
3 Smith, A.J., 37-48
4 Smith, N.L., 212-219