Ozone Therapy, Benefits or Risk?
What is the Ozone Therapy
You may know of ozone as a gas in the earth's stratosphere that protects it, and its role in climate change.
The ozone protects the earth, but pollution containing certain chemicals are depleting. Ozone, however, is also used as medical treatment for many health conditions.
Historical Use of Ozone Therapy
Since the mid-1800s ozone therapy has been used and studied. The discovery of the gas and use of ozone for medical purposes began in Germany.
Physician Werner von Siemens build the first ozone medical devise to destroy microorganisms.
Before the turn of the 20th century, it was used to purify water. German doctors in World War I used ozone to disinfect wounds because of its antibacterial properties.
Since then it has been used to a host of diseases including HIV, herpes, flue, staphylococcus infections, cancer, and to reduce postoperative complications from rhinoplasty.
How it works in the body
Three atoms of oxygen make up Ozone (O3), a colorless gas. When dispensed into the body, ozone is said to stimulate the immune system. The action of ozone works differently depending on the microorganism: With bacteria, it interrupts the activity of cells through oxidation. In fungi, it prevents the growth of cells at specific stages. Through peroxidation, O3 disrupts the virus' reproductive cycle and damages its protein shell (capsid).
In addition, ozone therapy increases red blood cells which increases the release of oxygen into the tissues. Among other processes, O3 stimulates the production of enzymes that salvage for free radicals and prostacyclin, a vasodilator. Free radicals are associated with increased inflammation in the body, heart disease, and cancer. A vasodilator is a substance that widens blood vessels to allow blood to flow smoothly.[i]
Benefits of Ozone Therapy
Ozone therapy has been studied for its effects on several medical conditions, and there are ongoing clinical trials for other health issues. Here are a few research results mined from the U.S. National Library of Medicine at the National Institute of Health:
Oral Antibacterial Infection agent – Ozone was found to be useful for treating infections caused by three types of bacteria found in the mouth: Actinomyces naeslundii, Lactobacilli casei and Streptococcus mutans.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
It is suggested that O3 may be useful as an adjunct treatment because of its antiviral response.
Diabetes – Ozone therapy was found to reduce oxidative stress that is a characteristic of diabetes.
Disinfectant – Laboratory studies found that O3 reduced the strength of certain bacteria in both dry and wet samples.
Ozone therapy is also used to reduce pain, stimulate the immune system, and treat viruses, inflammation, cancer, arthritis and rheumatism, macular degeneration, circulatory conditions, and geriatric issues.
How Ozone Therapy Is Administered
Because of technology, ozone is now applied in several ways. One of them, insufflation, is considered high risk. It involves the dispensing of ozone through the rectum. Here are few other ways O3 is given:
Direct Tissue – For wounds and other external conditions, O3 is administered directly to the affected part. For example, ozonated oils are used to treat acne and other skin conditions.
Autohemotherapy – Ozone is injected once it has been mixed with the patient's blood or with sterile water and put back into the body.
Ingested – Ozone is dissolved in water using a machine designed for that purpose. Ozonated water is said to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Any Side Effects?
By its makeup, ozone is unstable and unpredictable; it has an odd number of atoms. So, if it is not used correctly, ozone can cause side effects. For example, too much ozone can damage red blood cells. Also, it is not widely used as a treatment. Therefore, there may be other side effects that have yet not been discovered.
While ozone therapy shows some promise, more studies need to be done to assure its effectiveness and safety. Before considering ozone therapy, it is essential you speak with your healthcare practitioner.
This information is for educational purpose only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or recommend any therapy or treatment.
Climate 101: Ozone Depletion. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/ozone-depletion/.
Elvis, A. M. and Ekta, J. S. Ozone therapy: A clinical review (June 2011). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312702/.
History – Ozonetherapy. Retrieved from https://www.biomedicenter.com/history-ozonetherapy/.
Madormo, Carrie, RN, MPH. What Is Ozone Therapy? (July 6, 2017) Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312702/.
Wilson, Debra Rose, Ph.D., MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT. What is ozone therapy? Benefits and risks (January 29, 2018). Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320759.php.
[i] Elvis, A. M. and Ekta, J. S. Ozone therapy: A clinical review, June 2011. Web.
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