How Ozone Heals Your Body!
How ozone works is the most frequently asked question we have received. Ozone is a free radical so why do we choose it as a healing agent? Shouldn’t we avoid free radicals and rather take antioxidants?
As seen in the graph below Oxidative Stress has implication in all organs. Many diseases are related to high oxidative stress.
With chronic oxidative stress we have a deficit of SOD (superoxide dismutase), GPX (glutathione peroxidase) and CAT (catalase) as the major anti-oxidant enzymes.
So wouldn’t Ozone application further degrade the already insufficient anti-oxidant system?
Ozone Therapy is administered through various different routes and with variable therapeutic doses. It is administered in the form of gas. Ozone represents an extremely unstable molecule characterized by 3 atoms of oxygen. When it comes in contact with fluid within the body or organic matter (cells, bacteria, viruses, blood…) Ozonolysis takes place. This process happens in fractions of seconds.
The reaction leads to the formation of:
Ozonides, Aldehydes and Peroxides (hydrogen peroxide – H2O2).
Ozonides, Aldehydes and Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) induce a mild oxidative stress at cellular level whereby H2O2 is quickly reduced to H2O (water) and O2 (oxygen). The half-life of H2O2 is literally 60 seconds and yet its intracellular concentration is critical in order to activate all relevant biochemical pathways. Thus H2O2 causes an oxidative reaction, which triggers secondary messengers with long lasting action.
Only small amounts of the anti-oxidant capacity of the blood are required to reduce Hydrogen peroxide to water (H20). In 20 minutes the potent anti-oxidant capacity of the blood is fully reconstituted owing to the efficiency of the redox system. No damage to any cells occurs during this process.
The paradoxical concept that ozone induces an antioxidant response capable of reversing chronic oxidative stress is common in the animal and vegetal kingdom.
We can therefore recapitulate that repetitive brief oxidative stresses induced by Ozone activates the cells defences against the deleterious action of the reactive oxygen species (ROS). Ozone can therefore be defined as a conditioning agent that activates a cascade of signaling systems, which in turn help our body to heal itself. This fact is now supported by findings of an increased level of antioxidant enzymes during and after Ozone therapy, which brings benefits in many pathological conditions.
Repeated oxidative stress caused by Ozone causes the production of Nrf2 protein, which is able to initiate the production of proteins favouring most of the cell functions.
What is Nrf2?
Nrf2 is a powerful protein that is latent in every cell. It is a switch for 200 or more different genes, all of which code for different aspects of cellular defense such as immune and inflammatory responses, tissue remodelling, fibrosis, carcinogenesis metastasis, and even cognitive dysfunction and addictive behaviour.
Nrf2 is unable to operate until a potent Nrf2 activator like Ozone releases it. Once released it migrates into the cell nucleus and bonds to the DNA at the location of the Human Antioxidant Response Element (hARE) which is the master regulator of the total antioxidant system that is available in ALL human cells.
When Nrf2 is activated in the nucleus, it turns on the production of antioxidant enzymes such as Catalase, Glutathione Peroxidase and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) our most powerful neutralizers of free radicals that our body produces.
Biological responses induced via the activation of Nrf2 are:
- Increasing the levels of anti-oxidants
- Stimulating GSH regeneration via glutathione and thioredoxin reductase
- Increasing the levels of enzymes that detoxify oxidants and electrophils (catalase, SOD, GPx, NQ01, H0-1..)
- Increasing the levels of Phase 2 detox enzymes
- Inhibiting cytokine-mediated inflammation
- Reducing iron overload and subsequent oxidative stress
- Recognizing, repairing and removing damaged proteins
- Protecting from apoptosis induced via oxidative stress
- Increasing DNA repair activity.
To put it simply, the Nrf2-dependent anti-oxidant response has been shown to protect against oxidative stress related diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer, Parkinson, ALS, Huntington’s disease), cardiovascular disease, infections, lung emphysema, inflammation and aging.
Dr. Lamberto Re says:
“The results of our study show for the first time in vivo that ozone increases levels of Nrf2 protein, which in turn promotes the antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes of phase II. Furthermore, a significant increase of SOD and CAT enzymes has been observed at the end of the treatment. “
Dr. Lamberto Re's research blew my mind and I would like to recap in simple words what he discovered:
- First an NrF2 control was taken by measuring the levels in the blood of the patient (T1).
- The second bar (T2) shows the NrF2 levels during major autohemo therapy in the 100ml flask after infusing the blood with ozone. Then the blood was dripped back into the body.
- Exactly 1/2 hour later Dr. Lamberto took a small probe out of the 7 l blood from the patient and measured the NrF2 levels (T3). The result was almost identical as it was in the 100ml in the flask. This means that any amount of Ozone that is induced into the body triggers a systemic reaction. All cells are activated with NrF2 and the body develops a systemic healing response.
This means that you can inject ozone into a muscle, rectal, into the blood or even via sinus and cause a systemic NrF2 response. This research explains why many clients report better eyesight or better skin and less pain in places that have not been treated with ozone. It could well be that you have an injection in your knee and your hair grows better or your infections reduce. The response is systemic.
It also explains why all the different studies with high and low concentrations large and small quantities have all good results. The range of effectiveness is simply huge. We often think more helps more but this study shows that this is not the case in Ozone therapy. If you repeat the treatment often enough it will definitely help.
Figure by Velio Bocci and Guiseppe Valacchi
Ozone therapy creates a feeling of wellness and sometimes even euphoria in most patients, via the stimulation of the neuroendocrine system. Again this process is related to the Nrf2 activation through ozone therapy.
Millions of ozone treatments have been performed over the last four decades and only 4 deaths were reported due to the administration of ozone directly into the veins. (Who wants to do that anyway? J) Therefore ozone therapy is considered very safe, very cheap and an easy treatment that can be done at home.
With the extensive benefits of ozone therapy on our body there is only one question left. Why is not everyone utilizing it???
Function of Ozone Therapy:
- Ozone therapy activates Nrf2 pathway
- Ozone increases the our most potent radical scavenger and cell wall protectors: glutathione peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase.
- Ozone therapy disrupts the integrity of the bacterial cell envelope through oxidation of the phospholipids and lipoproteins.
- In fungi, O3 inhibits cell growth at certain stages.
- With viruses, the O3 damages the viral capsid and upsets the reproductive cycle by disrupting the virus-to-cell contact with peroxidation
- Ozone therapy causes an increase in the red blood cell glycolysis rate.
- Ozone therapy leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen released to the tissues.
- Ozone activates the Krebs cycle by enhancing oxidative carboxylation of pyruvate, stimulating production of ATP (Energy)
- Ozone therapy increases the production of interferon and the greatest output of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-2. The production of interleukin-2 launches an entire cascade of subsequent immunological reactions. (Activation of the immune system)
- Ozone therapy stimulates the neuroendocrine system and therefore produces a feeling of well-being
- Ozone therapy combats aging.
- Ozone therapy decreases inflammation through the activation of Nrf2 and subsequently the suppression of NFkB (pro-inflammatory signaling pathway)
Note: Patients suffering from hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, and bleeding disorders must, however, stay away from ozone therapy, and so should pregnant women.
Re, L. et al., 2014. Is ozone pre-conditioning effect linked to Nrf2/EpRE activation pathway in vivo? A preliminary result. European Journal of Pharmacology, 742, pp.158–162. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0014299914006347.
Viebahn-Hänsler, R., León Fernández, O.S. & Fahmy, Z., 2016. Ozone in Medicine: Clinical Evaluation and Evidence Classification of the Systemic Ozone Applications, Major Autohemotherapy and Rectal Insufflation, According to the Requirements for Evidence-Based Medicine. Ozone: Science & Engineering, 38(5), pp.322–345. Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01919512.2016.1191992.
Watson, J.D., 2014. Type 2 diabetes as a redox disease. The Lancet, 383(9919), pp.841–843. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S014067361362365X.
Hybertson, B.M. et al., 2011. Oxidative stress in health and disease: The therapeutic potential of Nrf2 activation. Molecular Aspects of Medicine, 32(4-6), pp.234–246. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0098299711000501.
Bocci, V. & Valacchi, G., 2015. Nrf2 activation as target to implement therapeutic treatments. Frontiers in Chemistry, 3. Available at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Article/10.3389/fchem.2015.00004/abstract.
Bocci, V.A., 2006. Scientific and Medical Aspects of Ozone Therapy. State of the Art. Archives of Medical Research, 37(4), pp.425–435. Available at: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0188440905003425.