Ozone therapy and oxygen treatment, are they effective, is there any science that supports their benefits?
July 20 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

I don't have any personal experience using this form of treatment. I have listed some of the studies I have come across but at this time I don't have a strong opinion as to whether this form of therapy has a role to play in cancer treatment.

Oxygen therapies include:
Hydrogen peroxide therapy involving intravenous infusion, ingestion, colonic administration, or soaking in hydrogen peroxide solution;

Ozone colonies and ozone autohemotherapy, in which blood is withdrawn and treated with ozone before reinfusion,

"Oxygenated" water, pills, and solutions.

Heart disease human studies
G Ital Nefrol. 2013. Ozone therapy: a potential adjunct approach to lower urinary tract infection? A case series report. Multi-resistant drug bacteria are an emerging health care concern around the world. A decreased resistance to infection as seen in Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and kidney transplanted patients as well as some metabolic abnormalities such as hyperglycemia and glycosuria or clinical conditions such as the neurogenic bladder may indeed portend a great risk of recurrent urinary tract infections (UTI). The common and indiscriminate use of antibiotics often provides the patients with only a transient or partial amelioration of the urinary tract discomforts and increases the risk of multi-resistant drug bacteria selection. Thus a great effort is made in order to develop new antibacterial approaches especially in the setting of multi- antibiotic resistant pathogens. We herein report on some promising yet preliminary results of the use of ozone therapy in UTI.

Eur J Pharmacology. 2012. Effects of ozone therapy on haemostatic and oxidative stress index in coronary artery disease. Medinat srl Clinic, Via Fazioli 22, Camerano, Italy. Because ozone therapy can activate the antioxidant system and improve blood circulation and oxygen delivery to tissue, the aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of ozone in patients with CAD, treated with antithrombotic therapy, Aspirin and policosanol. A randomized controlled clinical trial was performed with 53 patients divided into two groups: one treated with antithrombotic therapy and other treated with antithrombotic therapy plus rectal insufflation of O(3). A parallel group age and gender matched was used as reference for the experimental variables. The efficacy of the treatments was evaluated by comparing hemostatic indexes and biochemical markers of oxidative stress in both groups after 20 day of treatment. Ozone treatment improved prothrombin time when compared to the antithrombotic therapy only group, without modifying bleeding time. Combination antithrombotic therapy+O(3) improved the antioxidant status of patients reducing biomarkers of protein and lipid oxidation, enhancing total antioxidant status and modulating the level of superoxide dismutase and catalase with a 57% and 32% reduction in superoxide dismutase and catalase activities respectively, moving the redox environment to a status of low production of O(2)(•-) with an increase in H(2)O(2) detoxification. No side effects were observed. These results show that medical ozone treatment could be a complementary therapy in the treatment of coronary artery disease and its complications.

Multiple myeloma caused osteonecrosis
Role of ozone therapy in the treatment of osteonecrosis of the jaws in multiple myeloma patients.
Haematologica. 2007.
Current treatments for bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) in multiple myeloma patients have limited efficacy. The biological effects of ozone indicate it may be therapeutic for ONJ. We, here, report the efficacy of a 15-day course of antibiotics, surgery and ozone therapy in 12 MM patients with ONJ.

Ulcerative colitis
Ozone therapy combined with sulfasalazine delivered via a colon therapy system for treatment of ulcerative colitis.
Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao. 2010. Department of Gastroenterology, Guangxi, China.
This prospective randomized controlled clinical trial involved 54 patients with mild to moderate active distal ulcerative colitis, who were randomize into 3 groups in accordance with the inclusion criteria (n=18). Each group was given sulfasalazine at the daily dose of 2 g, and in colon therapy group and ozone therapy plus sulfasalazine therapy group, sulfasalazine was delivered via a colon therapy system on a daily basis; the control group received sulfasalazine via retention enema only. At 0, 2, and 4 weeks of the treatment, colonoscopy was performed to evaluate the disease activity, and biopsy samples were obtained at 0 and 4 weeks for histological examination. In comparison with colon therapy group and control group, ozone therapy plus colon therapy resulted in more rapid alleviation of the clinical symptoms and better histological improvement without any adverse effects. Ozone therapy combined with sulfasalazine delivered via a colon therapy system is feasible and effective for treatment of ulcerative colitis.

Intravesical ozone therapy for progressive radiation-induced hematuria.
J Altern Complement Med. 2005. Clavo B, Gutiérrez D, Martín D, Suárez G, Hernández MA. Department of Radiation Oncology, Research Unit, Dr. Negrin University Hospital, Las Palmas, Spain.
Progressive radiation-induced cystitis can become a serious clinical problem the therapeutic solution of which is limited and almost invariably aggressive. Ozone therapy is a nonconventional therapy that has been reported to offer benefits in late-onset wound healing and ischemic disorders. This report describes a patient with progressive radiation-induced hematuria from standard conservative treatment that was further treated with ozone therapy. Ozone therapy was achieved by intravesical instillation of ozonized bi-distilled water over a period of 30 minutes, three sessions per week during the first weeks. Later, ozone therapy sessions were decreased and involved ozonized water or direct intravesicular instillation of ozone at 20-25 microg/mL. Hematuria was successfully controlled by intravesical application of ozone therapy. The successes achieved with this technique suggest that intravesicular instillation of ozonized bi-distilled water or ozone merits further investigation with a view to its application to counter this radiation-induced side-effect.

Restoration of normoxia by ozone therapy may control neoplastic growth: a review and a working hypothesis.
J Altern Complement Med. 2005. Bocci V. Department of Physiology, University of Siena, Italy.
In contrast to normal tissues, tumors thrive in hypoxic environments. This appears to be because they can metastasize and secrete angiopoietins for enhancing neoangiogenesis and further tumor spread. Thus, during chronic ischemia, normal tissues tend to die, while neoplasms tend to grow. During the past two decades, it has been shown in arteriopathic patients that ozonated autohemotherapy is therapeutically useful because it increases oxygen delivery in hypoxic tissues, leading to normoxia. Although several oxygenation approaches have been tested, none is able to restore normoxia permanently in patients with cancer. We postulate that a prolonged cycle of ozonated autohemotherapy may correct tumor hypoxia, lead to less aggressive tumor behavior, and represent a valid adjuvant during or after chemo- or radiotherapy. Moreover, it may re-equilibrate the chronic oxidative stress and reduce fatigue.

The ozone therapy in patients with mechanical jaundice of tumorous genesis.
Vestn Khir Im I I Grek. 2003. Parkhisenko IuA.
The complex method of treatment of patients with mechanical jaundice of tumorous genesis includes parenteral ozonotherapy in combination with traditional treatment. An analysis of treatment of 90 patients with mechanical jaundice of tumorous genesis has shown that ozonotherapy facilitates more rapid arrest of hepatic dysfunction and endogenous intoxication.

Rodent and animal studies
Ozone ameliorates methotrexate-induced intestinal injury in rats.
Cancer Biol Ther. 2009. Kesik V, Uysal B, Kurt B, Kismet E. Department of Pediatric Oncology, Gulhane Military Medical Faculty, School of Medicine, Etlik, Ankara, Turkey.
Methotrexate (Mtx) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent used in various cancer treatments. Gastrointestinal toxicity is the drug's major limiting factor, arising mainly from oxidative damage. It has been proposed that ozone (O(3)) is an activator of antioxidant enzymes. Thus, this study was designed to investigate the efficacy of ozone therapy in the prevention of Mtx-induced intestinal injury in rats. Twenty rats were allocated into three groups: sham, Mtx alone (untreated) and Mtx + O(3) (treated with ozone). Ozone was administered at a dose of 0.72 mg/kg daily via an intraperitoneal route for 15 d. On d 16, Mtx was applied via an intraperitoneal injection at a dose of 6 mg/kg for 5 d. All rats were sacrificed at d 21. Efficacy of the treatment was assessed by measuring the histopathologic injury score (HIS), and biochemically by determining tissue superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and malondialdehyde (MDA) in ileum, liver and kidney homogenates. Although two rats (25%) died in the untreated group, all rats in the sham and treatment groups survived the study. The HIS, antioxidant enzyme and MDA levels of the ileal tissue were significantly lower in the ozone treated group than the untreated group. Although the antioxidant enzyme and MDA levels of liver and kidney were significantly lower in the ozone treated group, there was no significant change in histopathology. Thus, ozone preconditioning shows a preventative effect in the ileum by decreasing tissue damage and increasing antioxidant enzyme activity in an experimental model of Mtx-induced intestinal injury.

Treatment with ozone/oxygen-pneumoperitoneum results in complete remission of rabbit squamous cell carcinomas.
Int J Cancer. 2008. Schulz S, Häussler U, Mandic R, Neubauer A, Dünne AA, Werner JA, Weihe E, Bette M. Veterinary Services and Laboratory Animal Medicine, Philipps University Marburg, Germany.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) represent a group of metastasizing tumors with a high mortality rate in man and animals. Since the biomolecule ozone was found to inhibit growth of various carcinoma cells in vitro we here applied the highly aggressive and lethal VX2 carcinoma HNSCC tumor model of the New Zealand White rabbit to test whether ozone exerts antitumorous effects in vivo. Therapeutic insufflation of medical ozone/oxygen (O(3)/O(2)) gas mixture into the peritoneum (O(3)/O(2)-pneumoperitoneum) at an advanced stage of tumor disease led to a survival rate of 7/14 rabbits. Six of the seven surviving rabbits presented full tumor regression and the absence of local or distant lung metastases. Insufflation of pure oxygen (O(2)) resulted in a survival rate of 3/13 animals accompanied by full tumor remission in 2 of the 3 surviving animals. Of the 14 sham-treated animals only 1 had spontaneous tumor remission and survived. No adverse effects or changes in standard blood parameters were observed after repeated intraperitoneal insufflations of the O(3)/O(2) or O2 gas. Animals with O(3)/O(2)-induced tumor eradication developed tolerance against reimplantation of the VX2 tumor. This could be reversed by immune suppression with a combination of dexamethasone and cyclosporin A suggesting an antitumorous effect of O(3)/O(2)-mediated activation of the body's own immunosurveillance. Although the exact mechanisms of action are still unclear the present data point to O(3)/O(2)-pneumoperitoneum as a promising new strategy in anticancer therapy.

Risk, danger, side effects
Cardiology. 2015. Myocardial Infarction after Ozone Therapy: Is Ozone Therapy Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde? We discuss the case of a 46-year-old male patient presenting to the emergency department with acute inferior myocardial infarction. Coronary angiography demonstrated a vasospasm of the left main coronary artery and proximal segment of the left anterior descending artery. Furthermore, a thrombotic total occlusion was ascertained in the right coronary artery. The vasospasm in the left main and left anterior descending artery disappeared after nitrate administration. Our case report reveals a possible complication of ozone therapy that has never been reported before. We think that this article will raise the awareness of the possibility of thrombotic complications after ozonated autohemotherapy.

My wife and I have enjoyed reading your web-site for quite some time now. We find it very refreshing to get a balanced point of view on nutritional issues. We have been researching machines that create ozone in water to sanitize food. There seems to be a lot of beneficial studies done world wide and we are wondering your opinion and, or, research on the subject. Do you feel it would be beneficial for home use to sanitize fruits and vegetables from pesticides.
    Although it is very important to clean vegetables and fruits, at least with soap and water, I have not studied the role of ozone machines and whether they add any additional benefits.

Q. Does drinking ozone water affect medication you take in any way? If someone takes finasteride for hair loss which has to build up in your system and takes ozone water too, will it reduce it or "cleanse" it out of you or something?
   A. I have not come across such studies with interactions regarding medications, but I don't think it influences the effectiveness of medications. However, as of 2017, I cannot be certain.