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Healing Ozone
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 to heal.

Therapeutic Indication
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.

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