Ozone Therapy

Ozone: Its General Effects And Its Use In Medicine

Ozone is an inactivated, trivalent (O3) form of oxygen (O2). It is considered one of the most potent oxidants in nature. Ozone was first discovered by chemist Christian Frederick Schonbein in 1840 as a disinfectant (Bocci, 2011).

Ozone was used for the first time to disinfect operating rooms in 1856 and subsequently for water treatment in 1860. It is used to treat battle wounds and other infections during World War I (Bocci, 1996; Bocci, 2006). After the turn of the century, interest began to focus on the uses of ozone in medical therapy. However, it was not until 1932 that ozone was seriously studied by the scientific community, when ozonated water was used as a disinfectant by dentist E.A. Fisch. One of his patients, surgeon Erwin Payr, along with physician P. Aubourg, was the first medical doctor to apply ozone gas through rectal insufflations to treat mucous colitis and fistulae (Bocci, 2006). Major ozonated autohemotherapy was first described in 1954 and consist of ex vivo exposing human blood to a gas mixture composed of therapeutic oxygen and ozone for a short time followed by reinfusion in the donor (Bocci, 2011)

Ozone Use In Medicine

Oxygen delivery and consumption is the MOST important factor in health and healing. In fact, Cells that are undergoing a healing response have what is called an oxygen-burst, which is characterized by a use of up to 100 times the normal needs of oxygen. Absent sufficient oxygen you will heal slower, not at or have cell death faster than cell growth. This is called a state of catabolic overload when even healthy cells are dying. Essentially this is what happens with all diseases. While they’re many reported benefits of ozone, the basic direct physiological effects and benefits of ozone are outlined as follows:

  1. Ozone therapy causes your Red Blood Cells (RBCs)to generate more bioavailable oxygen. Ozone stimulates the production of a compound called2,3diphosphoglycerate(2,3DPG). DPG controls the movement of oxygen from red blood cells to body tissues. In other words, 2,3-DPG enables your RBCs to release a larger payload of existing oxygen. Normally hemoglobin only releases about 50% of its carried oxygen. This can result in hemoglobin releasing 75% of its oxygen or a 33% increase in overall availability. Since oxygen is often the primary limiting step in healing, this benefit of ozone may be responsible for the often “miraculous healing” effects of ozone.
  2. Ozone therapy increases RBC ATP. The increased energy in the red cells enable newly created RBCs to become “supergifted” in the words of researcher Velio Bocci, MD of Italy. Ozone activates the Krebs cycle by enhancing oxidative carboxylation of pyruvate, stimulating production of ATP. It also causes a significant reduction in NADH and helps to oxidize cytochrome C.
  3. Ozone therapy improves red cell flexibility, meaning your blood will flow much better. RBCs will be able to flex better to get through the small capillaries. They will carry a higher negative electrical charge so that they repel each other and don’t stack together. This improves rheological (flow) properties of your blood, enabling more oxygen transport.
  4. Ozone therapy appears to turn on overall mitochondrial function in your cells. Mitochondria are your cell furnaces where energy is made; more energy, more ability to repair, no matter the tissue or organ. This conclusion is based on basic science research of German and Cuban researchers showing more oxygen consumption in tissues that have been exposed to ozone.
  5. Researchers Bocci in Italy and Silvia Menendez, PhD and her team in Cuba have determined that ozone modulates the immune system. In other words, where there is inflammation that is not needed, ozone will dampen it, and allow inflamed tissues to heal. Where the immune system is weak, ozone therapy picks it up. The net effect of ozone therapy is to bring your immune system to a healthier set point of balance. You need inflammation to fight invaders and repair, but when inflammation is not turned off, the inflammation itself then becomes destructive to your tissues. In the case of joints, modulating inflammation with ozone can sometimes lead to instant results. While the exact mechanisms of action are not clear we do know that the NAD NADH ratio is modulated with ozone and plays a role in overall inflammation and tissue break down and build up forces. In order to clarify the immune-modulating properties of ozone, one study also investigated: a) the effects of stimulation on isolated peripheral human blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from normal donors with either ozone or ozonated serum; b) the range (in terms of O3 concentrations) of the therapeutic window; c) the stimulatory and toxic effects and d) the pattern, of both proinflammatory and immunosuppressive cytokine production up to 86 hours after exposure to O3. Results show that ozone can act as a weak inducer of cytokines producing IL-6, IL-4, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-2 and IL-10 and, most importantly, there is a significant relationship between cytokine production and ozone concentration. Analysis of the proliferation index shows that progressively increasing O3 concentrations inhibit IP and therefore appear cytotoxic.
  6. Ozone and its metabolic products are directly toxic to pathogens. In fact ozone virtually instantly punches holes in the membranes of bacteria hemorrhaging them on the spot. In contrast, chlorine compounds, well known as disinfectants, are 100x slower! When it comes to viruses, these stealth pathogens MUST gain entry to your cells to wreak their havoc, no matter the virus. Research has shown that most viruses (at least every one I’ve looked at) require fully functional and reduced sulfhydryl groups (SH) on their outer shell to attach to and enter your cells[1]. The SH groups are the “fingers” viruses use to open and enter your cells according to world literature.


  1. Article on DPG 2,3 effect on RBC https://medicalozone.info/wp-content/uploads/Ozone-and-red-blood-cell-concentrates.pdf
  2. Stimulation of Krebs cycle to increase ATP https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312702/
  3. Ozone increases RBC flexibility (PDF) How Ozone Treatment Affects Erythrocytes. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224830959_How_Ozone_Treatment_Affects_Erythrocytes [accessed Jun 28 2018].

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