and hypochlorite ions, is naturally produced by white blood cells and other biological systems as a means of destroying foreign bodies. Ozone reacts directly with the organic double bonds, perturbing them until the invading agent is neutralized. It is believed that the powerful oxidizing properties of O3 can intervene in inflammation.
The cause-effect relationship of how ozone is created in the organism and participates in different physiological mechanisms is still the subject of research and various interpretations (other chemical processes in the body can trigger some similar reactions). Historically, in 1856, just 16 years after its discovery, ozone was applied to disinfect operating theaters and sterilize surgical instruments. In 1892 an article was published describing the administration of ozone for the treatment of tuberculosis. world war, doctors used it to treat wounds, trench foot and the effects of poison gas.
Ozone can also be introduced by autohemotransfusion: blood is taken intravenously from the patient, exposed to ozone and put back into circulation.
Usually, these techniques involve mixing ozone with various gases and liquids prior to administration.
For medical applications, the gas produced is administered in precise therapeutic doses and never by inhalation. In fact, ozone has known toxic effects on the respiratory tract when inhaled by mammals: the molecule reacts with the tissues lining the lungs, triggering a cascade of pathological effects that can induce the deterioration of the lung membranes. ozone can form metabolites which facilitate the pathogenesis of atherosclerotic plaques. The presence of these compounds, generated by ozonolysis and classified in a class of secosterols, has been confirmed in human atherosclerotic arteries.
The potential benefits of ozone therapy are:
- Fungicidal action, antibacterial action and viral inactivation;
- Promotes the release and use of body oxygen;
- It causes the release of growth factors that stimulate osteoarticular regeneration (adjuvant in the treatment of herniated discs, joint rheumatism, etc.);
- Analgesic - anti-inflammatory.
Ozone therapy has been proposed for the treatment of various diseases, including multiple sclerosis, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, interstitial cystitis, chronic hepatitis, herpes, dental infections, diabetes, macular degeneration, cancer, AIDS and Lyme disease However, it is essential to remember that the medical application of ozone has not yet obtained unanimous scientific consensus, as it has not always proved valid as a specific, adjuvant or preventive therapy.
- The mechanism of action proposed for the use of ozone therapy in the treatment of cancer is based on the theory that neoplastic cells do not proliferate in an environment that has a high concentration of oxygen. Therefore, ozone therapy would act as an adjuvant to radiotherapy or chemotherapy, increasing the interstitial pO2 at the level of the neoplastic tissue and thus helping to treat cancer. There is no evidence to support this theory and an article published in 2001 argues that the potential the benefit to cancer patients is insufficient. Therefore, ozone therapy should not be recommended as an alternative form of cancer treatment.
- Regarding the therapeutic effect on HIV / AIDS, the administration of ozone has shown promising results in tests in vitro (the molecule inactivates the viral particles outside the organism), but there is no evidence that the application brings benefits in vivo.
- Ozone has been suggested for use in dentistry for the treatment of dental caries, but existing evidence does not support any valid applications.
- The subject of discussion is the use of ozone therapy by athletes in an attempt to increase performance (it would modify oxygenation in the resting muscle).
- A review concluded that ozone injections represent an effective treatment for herniated disc.
, highly reactive and known to cause oxidative stress and damage many organic molecules, as well as being implicated in the progression of some degenerative diseases (such as atherosclerosis). To avoid this consequence, the doses of ozone administered must not exceed the capacity of the antioxidant enzymes to prevent the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion.