Ozone Therapy for the Cardiovascular System
What Is Cardiovascular Disease?
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a collective term for diseases that involve the heart and blood vessels.
The term commonly includes diseases such as coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Partial obstruction of blood flow in the coronary arteries may cause a condition called myocardial ischemia, which is reduced blood flow to the heart. Usually, ischemia causes hypoxia meaning reduced oxygen supply, which may weaken cells without killing them, however this can also result in cell death. Typically, individuals experience pain, tightness or squeezing sensations in the chest area.
A complete obstruction to blood flow in a coronary artery may result in a myocardial infarction, commonly called a heart attack. Infarction means the death of an area of tissue due to interrupted blood supply. Without oxygen the tissues cannot sustain themselves.
Before we discuss possible risk factors for cardiovascular disease and the beneficial ozone effects, let's brush up on some important biology.
The cardiovascular system consists of three interrelated components:
- the heart
- and blood vessels
Blood has three functions to transport, regulate and protect. It transports various substances, including oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients, wastes and hormones. It helps regulate pH, body temperature and water content of cells. It provides protection through clotting and by combating toxins and microbes through certain phagocytic white blood cells or specialized blood plasma proteins.
The heart has an enormous job of pumping 24/7, and it’s crucial that things flow smoothly. For the blood to reach body cells and exchange materials, the heart must pump the blood continuously. The heart beats about 100,000 times every day and approximately 35 million beats a year. The left side of the heart pumps blood through an estimated 120,000 km of blood vessels. The right side of the heart pumps blood through the lungs, enabling blood to pick up oxygen and unload carbon dioxide.
There are three major blood vessels. The arteries carry the blood away from the heart, and the capillaries enable the exchange of water and chemicals between the blood and tissues. The veins then carry the blood from the capillaries back towards the heart.
The inferior vena cava (blood vessel) carries blood containing nutrients and oxygen from the digestive tract and spleen into the liver. The hepatic veins carry blood from the liver, intestines, legs, and kidneys to the heart.
The function of blood between all the organs is very important. Providing oxygen, essential nutrients, amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, removing waste (carbon dioxide, urea, lactic acid), protecting the body from infection, foreign bodies, transporting hormones, transmitting messages, regulating pH levels and body temperature etc.
What Causes Cardiovascular Issues To Occur?
There are many risk factors that contribute to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Some people are born with conditions that predispose them to heart disease and stroke, but most people who develop cardiovascular disease do so due to a combination of factors such as poor diet, lack of physical activity and smoking, just to name three. The more risk factors you expose yourself to, the higher the chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
Many of the risk factors of cardiovascular disease can cause problems because they can lead to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing and thickening of arteries and develops for years without causing symptoms. It can happen in any part of the body. Around the heart, it is known as coronary artery disease, in the legs, it is known as peripheral arterial disease.
The narrowing and thickening of the arteries is due to the deposition of fatty material, cholesterol and other substances in the walls of blood vessels. The deposits are known as plaques. The rupture of a plaque can lead to stroke or a heart attack. Atherosclerosis and all cardiovascular diseases take a huge toll on our society.
Some of the risk factors can include:
- Smoking, as well as second-hand smoke
- High level of cholesterol in the blood
- Family history and genetics
- Ethnicity and age
- High blood pressure
- Physical inactivity
- Diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar levels
- Unhealthy diets
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Inflammation (high CRP)
- Tissue trauma or damage
Oxidative stress is associated with several cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis, hypertension and congestive heart failure. Oxidative stress has been observed in several diseases of the vascular system. It is defined as an imbalanced redox state in which pro-oxidants overwhelm anti-oxidant capacity, resulting in increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).
Ozone therapy is a known method of treatment for patients with heart disease including cardiovascular complexities and fatigue. The use of ozone in cardiovascular diseases and chronic fatigue/pain has shown significant positive results.
- Ozone improves blood circulation and oxygen delivery
- Ozone enhances general metabolism through improved oxygen delivery
- Up-regulation of cellular antioxidant enzymes/systems through ozone
- Ozone reduces platelet aggregation
- Ozone causes induction of mild activation of the immune system
- Ozone lowers pro-inflammatory cytokines
- Ozone enhances release of growth factors
Due to these characteristics that ozone therapy is used in the prevention and treatment of ischemic heart disease and for post-infarction rehabilitation.
Patients with cardiac infarction show a decrease in glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activates, which are beginners in the scavenger processes of lipid peroxide and superoxide radicals. Ozone therapy can activate the antioxidant system and improve blood circulation and oxygen delivery to tissue.
It was observed that ozone had a statistically significant decrease in plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. High biologically significant increases on erythrocyte glutathione peroxidase and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activities were found. These are the energy and antioxidant pathways in the body.
Ozone can decrease the thickness and viscosity of blood that would make it easier for circulation and also stimulate dilation as well as relaxation of the artery walls. This can help recovery of the inner arterial space from deposits and fat plaques, which create blockages in the arteries.
OZONE COMPARED TO ANTI-THROMBOTIC THERAPY
In a randomized controlled trial 53 patients were divided into two groups. One group was treated with anti- thrombotic therapy, which included the drugs aspirin and policosanol. The second group was treated with the anti-thrombotic drugs and with rectal ozone insufflations. The ozone therapy significantly improved pro-thrombin time compared to the other group. Prothrombin, also known as factor II, is one of the clotting factors made by the liver. If Prothrombin is time is slow this signifies bleeding issues due to slow blood clotting.
Many people using ozone generators use it to keep their cellular oxygen levels high in order to prevent degenerative diseases. Ozone acts as a pro-drug; it dissolves instantly in the plasma and switches on a number of biochemical reactions. It disappears after generating a number of messengers that by reacting with a variety of cells, allows the revival of important biological activities that went astray during the preceding chronic oxidative stress. Thus, ozone is a powerful tool with minimal cost, very little side effects, if any and possesses useful clinical benefits.
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