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Ozone Therapy:  a way to build and maintain health

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Aging and degenerative diseases are caused by a decrease of oxygen utilization that can affect many of our organs and their functions. If we keep oxygen levels high using ozone therapy, cells and organs can function at peak levels, causing the body to operate more efficiently. Young animals may even age more slowly. Frank Shallenberger, MD, says:

“Every single aspect of healthy living exerts its effects by improving oxygen utilization. … The reason taking that vitamin or doing that exercise, or whatever it is we’re talking about, makes you better and healthier is because it’s improving your oxygen utilization. They’re all doing the same thing. So when you measure oxygen utilization, you’re measuring the sum totality of everything you can possibly do that is working in your body.”1

Oxygen is utilized in many parts of the body, including mitochondria and red blood cells.

Oxygen for mitochondrial health

In our current environment, air quality is poor, oxygen has been reduced, and our patients are increasingly exposed to more pollution and chemicals. Not surprisingly, immune systems are at risk. As we additionally undermine the internal microbiome within gastrointestinal tracts with antibiotics and other medications, the body’s defenses are further damaged.

The work of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg showed that decreased oxygen utilization caused by decreased mitochondrial function is the underlying factor in the development and progression of all disease processes.  This is partly due to the fact that detoxification is so mitochondrial-dependent.

In order for an animal’s body to function at peak efficiency, its mitochondria, which make up 10% of the body weight, need to be operating at their highest potential. They are the batteries of the body’s cells (some individual cells may contain thousands of mitochondria) and they require oxygen to convert sugars, fats and other chemical fuels into ATP. Ozone Therapy can increase mitochondrial function, thereby helping the animal’s body to operate optimally and heal more effectively (micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/mitochondria/mitochondria.html).

Oxygen for the circulatory system

Healthy blood flows to the tissues via the circulatory system. For good health in any individual, it is essential that this system operates optimally. With adequate oxygenation, red blood cells clump less and have more flexibility to pass through the vessels, which allows more oxygen to flow into the tissues via the microcapillaries.

How Ozone Therapy works

Ozone (O3) is an activated, trivalent (three atoms) form of oxygen (O2). It easily breaks down into an oxygen molecule (O2) and a singlet oxygen atom. This singlet oxygen atom has unpaired electrons, making it unstable, so it is sometimes referred to as an “oxygen free radical”. Though free radicals are considered damaging to health, this oxygen atom behaves as an ion (O2-), at normal physiological blood pH, and creates lipid peroxides. It is these peroxides that mediate the many positive effects of ozone therapy in biological systems.

The benefits of ozone

Ozone offers many benefits to the body, including:

  • Killing bacteria, viruses and fungi. Healthy cells are well protected by antioxidant enzyme systems (glutathione peroxidase, catalase, glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase). Cancer cells, compromised cells and microbes of all kinds do not have this protection, and are thus destroyed by the oxidative stress provided by ozone therapy.
  • Optimizing cellular function. Ozone peroxides improve oxygen delivery, endothelial function, nitric oxide formation and oxygen utilization.
  • Activating the immune system by stimulating production of cytokines, including interferons, interleukins, tumor necrosis factor, etc.
  • Decreasing damage from harmful free radicals, and stimulating the body’s protective NRF2-activated enzyme systems helps protect healthy cells from injury.
  • Increasing energy production. Ozone accelerates the Kreb’s Cycle in the mitochondria, increasing the amount of ATP produced. Providing more efficient overall metabolism thus increases energy production. This decreases the number of toxic byproducts used to produce energy in the body.

Uses of Ozone Therapy

Ozone Therapy can help treat:

  • wounds, hot spots, abscesses, allergic dermatitis, etc.
  • infections: chronic ear, stomatitis, gingivitis, viral and bacterial diarrhea
  • chronic and acute Lyme and other tick borne co-infections
  • acute and chronic liver, kidney, pancreatic and Cushing’s disease
  • heart disease and circulation problems.

It can also be used:

  • as an adjunctive cancer therapy, and for seizures and autoimmune reactions
  • to decrease the amount of drugs needed. Concurrent use of ozone dramatically increases the effects of most hormones, drugs, vitamins, and herbs, by facilitating more complete oxidation reactions.

Ozone delivery systems

Ozone Therapy requires the following equipment:

  1. Ozone generator — look at the American Academy of Ozonotherapy website (aaot.us), for the criteria for an acceptable clinical generator. Select a company that offers good training and support. The price can range from $2,000 to $20,000, depending on the different attachments and additional functions selected. Under $4,000 should be sufficient for most practices.
  2. Pure surgical oxygen, at least 99% pure
  3. Ozone saline maker
  4. Syringes, catheters, and IV tubes, which you already stock in your clinic

Injecting a mandibular abscess with ozone gas in Baxter, a 15-year-old dog. This healed with no antibiotics or other drugs.

Methods of administration

Ozone is not stable, so several methods are used to ensure the efficacy of increasing oxygen into the mitochondria:

  1. Auto-hemo therapy (frequently used). A percentage volume of blood by weight is removed and mixed with ozone or ozonated saline, then reintroduced to the body.
  2. Ozonated saline. Ozone is bubbled through the saline in the “Saline Maker” to saturate the saline with O2 and O3. It’s best used immediately (chilled on ice in glass, it only lasts 30 hours). Given as Sub Q or IV fluids, the ozone quickly works in all parts of the body. Ears, skin, wounds, hot spots and any infected area can be flushed with ozonated saline in the clinic.
  3. Rectal insufflation. Unhealthy biofilms interfere with a balanced microbiome diversity, thereby weakening the immune system. When ozone is rectally insufflated, it kills bacteria (more likely anaerobic than aerobic), fungi and yeast — even the potentially good ones. When this procedure is done higher in the colon, it enhances Microbiome Replacement Therapy (MBRT). When it is done in the distal rectum, it is absorbed into the caudal rectal vein and goes via the portal system into the liver where it works on the millions of mitochondria in the hepatic cells. Ozone optimizes the function of the stem cells of the colon. Because stem cells have more mitochondria than mature cells, they have a more critical need for oxygen.
  4. Ozonated olive oil. Available in oil, cream, suppositories and toothpaste, products can be made in the clinic or purchased. In the fridge, products stay therapeutic for years and can be used topically for ears, wounds, hot spots, etc., to speed healing. Ozonated olive oil suppositories can be given rectally for colon problems, like tumors, or put in the vulva for vaginitis. Ozonated toothpaste can be used for gingivitis, stomatitis or preventative dental care. Some of these products can be sold to clients for home use.

Important note: Ozone gas itself is very irritating to the lungs, so it should never be breathed directly.

Administering prolozone — ozone with prolotherapy — for cruciate repair. It helps bring more oxygen to the location, increases stem cell production, and prevents infection. Consider as an option for cruciate and other musculoskeletal issues.

Ozone Therapy use is expanding

Ozone Therapy for veterinary use has seen dramatic growth in the last several years. There are now three US organizations promoting veterinary medical ozone, and over 800 veterinarians in Brazil and 300 in Japan using ozone. (Brazil and Japan have also formed organizations.) Dr. Zullyt Zamaro, veterinarian and PhD, has written the first veterinary textbook on ozone therapy, including double placebo blind studies and clinical applications. The state of Massachusetts has added Ozone Therapy to the practice act.

Building health strategies

A key to health and longevity is good nutrition. By regularly stimulating the mitochondria to provide more efficient oxygen utilization, cells can better metabolize nutrients. While there are many ways to do this — improved nutrition, nutraceuticals, vitamins and exercise – Ozone Therapy can further improve the process, especially if the animal is not thriving. The bottom line is that no matter what treatment you are giving your patient, the results will be better when adding in Ozone Therapy.

Conclusion

As oxygen uitilization loses efficiency, the rate of free radical damage escalates and ultimately leads to mitochondrial decay. The benefits of increased mitochondrial biogenesis and ATP through Ozone Therapy include increases in metabolic function, energy level, exercise performance, cognitive function and lifespan. Helping young animals heal rapidly from any infections, injuries and surgical procedures can speed their return to normal growth functions. No matter what course of treatment is being used, the addition of Ozone Therapy will provide for better results.

This article has been peer reviewed.

1Shallenberger, Frank, MD, HMD, ABAAM. The Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy, John Cole, 2011.  

For further learning

  • Read The Principles and Applications of Ozone Therapy by Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD, available on Amazon.
  • Published literature — nearly 3,000 different indexed articles — many of them authored by veterinarians, can be accessed through the “Library” portal on the American Academy of Ozonotherapy website at aaot.us.
  • Ozone certification courses and videos of conferences are available through:
    -American Academy of Ozonetherapy (aaot.us)
    Society of Progressive Medical Education (sopmed.org)
    -Ozone Therapies Group (ozonetherapiesgroup.com)
  • Just published — Ozone Therapy in Veterinary Medicine by Zullyt Gamora, veterinarian and PhD. It will be available at Ozone Therapies Group.
  • Madrid Declaration 2015 – purchase online. Report from 20 countries on Ozone Therapy. International Scientific Committee of Ozone Therapy (isco3.org)

Dr. Margo Roman graduated from the Veterinary College at Tuskegee Institute of Alabama, and was on the faculty of Tufts University, teaching anatomy, physiology and acupuncture. She was the consulting veterinarian in an IACUC for Creature Biomolecule in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, studying osteogenic proteins. Dr. Roman’s integrative practice, Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton (M.A.S.H.), offers chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, Reiki, acupuncture, herbs, conventional medicine and more.