What is Ozone?

Ozone is a natural gaseous molecule made up of three oxygen atoms whereas the oxygen molecule, far more stable, is composed of only two atoms. It’s the most powerful oxidant available to man. It’s an effective bleaching agent and a powerful disinfectant, killing bacteria and funguses more rapidly than chlorine. Viruses and carcinogenic substances, which are generally not affected by the other conventional chemical used in water treatment, are also oxidized by ozone. It’s deodorant effect is based on the destruction of substances production noxious odors and not simply on a masking of the odors themselves.

Natural Occurrence

Atmospheric ozone is one of the most important gases in the earth’s stratosphere (at 10 to 50 kilometers above ground level). It’s maximum concentration of up to 1 part O3 per 100,000 parts air (approx.. 10 ppm) is found in the ozonosphere at a height of 20 to 30 kilometers. This ozone layer acts as a filter to high-energy UV radiation from the sun, thus protecting the biological balance on the earth from destruction by hard radiation. When this layer is destroyed (“Ozone Gap”), it’s filter effect can’t function.

The History of Medical Ozone

The first medical application seems to have been the use of ozone for treating gaseous, post traumatic gangrene in German soldiers during the 1st world war. How ever a big step forward was the invention of a reliable ozoniser for medical use by the physicist Joachim Hansler (1908-1981). The idea to use ozone in medicine developed slowly during the last century and it was stimulated by the lack of antibiotics and the disinfectant properties of ozone. The 2nd World War brought about setbacks for German research into medical ozone, as many clinics and laboratories were destroyed in Allied air raids. It was until the 1950s that clinics reopened and research began again. The first physician to treat cancer with ozone was Dr. W. Zable in the late 1950s, followed by Drs. P. G. Seeger, A. Varro, and H. Werkmeister. During the next twenty years, hundreds of German physicians began using ozone in their practices (both alone and as a complement to traditional medical therapy) to treat a wide variety of diseases through a number of applications. Horst Kief is believed to have been the first doctor to use ozone therapy to successfully treat patients infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Medical ozone is produced from pure medical oxygen via silent electrical discharge and can be applied in the form of an ozone/oxygen mixture at an exact concentration and dose. The concentration range is between 1 – 100 ug/ml corresponding to an oxygen/ozone mixture at ratios between 0.05% O3 and 99,95% O2 up to between 5% O3 and 95% O2. As the O3 molecule is instable, medical ozone is always generated on site each time immediately before application.

Clinical Effects of Ozone Therapy

  • Bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal

    Ozone can destroy practically all kinds of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. The use of therapeutic ozone concentration provides bactericidal effect which indirectly activates the non-specific defense system (phagocytosis activation, enhanced synthesis of cytokines-interferons, interleukin tumor necrotic factor) as well as components of cellular and humoral immunity. There have been reported evidences of partial oxidation of virus receptors that makes them incapable to virus binding.
  • Anti Inflammatory

    This effect is revealed in ozone capacity to oxidize the compounds containing double bonds, the arachidonic acid and its derivatives – prostaglandins, in particular. These biologically active substances participate in the development and sustaining the inflammatory process. Besides, ozone regulate metabolic reactions in tissues at the place of inflammations and resolves pH.
  • Analgesic effect

    This effect is provided by oxidation of the product of albuminolysis, the so-called algopeptides. They act on the nerve endings in damaged tissue and determine the intensity of pain response.
  • Detoxification effect

    This effect is revealed in correction and activation of metabolic processes in the hepatic and renal tissues, thus ensuring their main function of neutralization and evacuation of the toxic compounds from the organs.
  • Activation of oxygen-dependent processes

    Ozone doses, however low they are, cause the increase in the content of free and dissolved blood oxygen with rapid intensification of enzymes that catalyze aerobic oxidation of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins with formation of ATP energy substrate. Of great importance is the mitochondria activation of H-ATP-ase responsible for conjugation of respiratory processes and oxidative phosphorylation resulting in ATP synthesis.
  • Optimization of pro and anti oxidant system

    This is regarded as one of the main effects of systemic ozone therapy which is realized through its influence on cellular membranes and brining to balance the levels of lipid peroxidation products and of antioxidant defense system.
  • Ozone haemostatic effect

    This effect depends on the dose. High concentration administered for external use cause evident hyper coagulation effect while parenteral administration of low concentrations is characterized by the decrease in thrombocytic and coagulative levels of hemostasis and increase in fibrinolytic activity.
  • Ozone immune-modulating effect

    This effect is based on interaction with lipid structures of cellular membranes and depends on the chosen dose.