Is Ozone Therapy a Helpful Treatment?

Potential benefits and applications of ozone therapy with Dr. Akbar Khan.

Can ozone therapy help with the treatment of autoimmune disease, chronic pain, and inflammation? On today’s podcast, I had a conversation with Dr. Akbar Khan to help answer these questions. While I remain apprehensive about recommending ozone therapy for conditions I treat based on the amount of evidence in support of its use, I appreciated this discussion and am open to the potential benefits, including those that may come to light with further research. If ozone therapy is something you’re curious about, I encourage you to listen to this episode.

In This Episode

Intro … 00:00:45
A Natural Approach to Medicine … 00:05:48
Ozone and How it Works in the Body … 00:08:28
Ozonated Oils … 00:13:39
Proper Dosing and Clinical Applications … 00:17:35
Anti-Microbial Effects of Ozone … 00:27:03
Proving Research on Ozone … 00:32:35
Contraindications to Treatment … 00:35:57
Episode Wrap-Up … 00:40:30

Is Ozone Therapy a Helpful Treatment? - Podcast303b AkbarKhan

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Hey everyone. Today I speak with Dr. Akbar Khan on the topic of ozone therapy. I have a little bit of a bias going into this conversation, because I’ve often heard ozone recommended more in the theoretical wing of integrative medicine. I do not have any personal experience with it, nor have I looked into what the evidence shows. So I wanted to have someone on the podcast who is using this clinically to speak to the therapy. I’m very appreciative of the conversation, and I learned a few things. I also have some pushback and some concerns. Akbar is using this as part of a multimodal interventional framework, so he’s using this in conjunction with other therapeutics, which makes it harder to see how much benefit is vectored by this one therapeutic.

He also had some thoughts on there being a large body of research. When I did go over to the American Academy of Ozone Therapy, which he recommended, and I looked into their findings, there wasn’t anything in the field of GI, at least regarding IBS, IBD, SIBO, or when searching the term “gastro.” There was only one study in thyroid, and this study did not find any impact on Hashimoto’s, or at least as best as I was able to determine from their abstract. So I remain open, but there’s a couple of things that make it challenging for me to get more fully on board, namely this being used in the clinical model, where there are multiple interventions being vectored at the same time. And then for the two areas that I’m chiefly concerned with, my clinical focus, GI and thyroid, nothing is really there that would support the hypothesis that ozone has a lot of merit.

Now that may be because there’s a paucity in the research, so I don’t want to say that lack of evidence is disproof, but those are some of my thoughts. I really enjoyed Akbar’s conversation on ozone, and I will withhold making this something that I explore until there is a little bit better evidence, at least in the areas that I’m treating, namely GI and thyroid. He does also mention auto-immunity and that’s a harder thing to get a purview regarding with a quick search, even in the American Academy of Ozone Therapy’s database. I didn’t see anything come up other than one study on lipid peroxidation when searching for the term auto-immunity. There are many autoimmune conditions, so I may have produced more if I took the time to look at an array of different autoimmune conditions, but IBD and thyroid didn’t really check out.

So open on the one hand, a little bit apprehensive on the other. Again, I’m really appreciative of the conversation and it is possible that there’s a lot of benefit that’s vectored from this therapy. But when using the tools that I use to help filter things that are ready to be brought into clinical practice, as opposed to those that don’t yet have the necessary evidence, I would label this one as not yet having the necessary evidence. Again, that’s important to remember, because there are so many things that knowing what to use and knowing what not to use is maybe half the battle. And this doesn’t mean that there are not a lot of great options. Akbar mentioned a Graves’ patient that he has seen; there are other options for Graves’ that have some evidence behind them. And so that’s what I lean towards, and that’s what I prefer.

Again, I want to give Akbar every benefit of the doubt. I appreciate the narrative, and I have no doubt that he’s helping patients. He may just be seeing conditions like certain cancers that are outside of my purview, and this makes more sense for those cases, or it could be that this is a therapy that isn’t that helpful, and it’s being masked by the multimodal way that he’s using them. So in any case, it was an interesting conversation with Akbar. Again, I’m really appreciative of it. Don’t let my remarks and scientific criticism be misconstrued as not appreciating him being willing to share his thoughts on ozone and how he’s using it. So, we will now go to the conversation with Akbar.

➕ Full Podcast Transcript

Intro:

Welcome to Dr. Ruscio radio, providing practical and science-based solutions to feeling your best. To stay up to date on the latest topics as well as all of our prior episodes, make sure to subscribe in your podcast player. For weekly updates visit DrRuscio.com. The following discussion is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor. Now let’s head to the show.

DrMichaelRuscio:

Hey everyone. Today I speak with Dr. Akbar Khan on the topic of ozone therapy. I have a little bit of a bias going into this conversation, because I’ve often heard ozone recommended more in the theoretical wing of integrative medicine. I do not have any personal experience with it, nor have I looked into what the evidence shows. So I wanted to have someone on the podcast who is using this clinically to speak to the therapy. I’m very appreciative of the conversation, and I learned a few things. I also have some pushback and some concerns. Akbar is using this as part of a multimodal interventional framework, so he’s using this in conjunction with other therapeutics, which makes it harder to see how much benefit is vectored by this one therapeutic.

DrMR:

He also had some thoughts on there being a large body of research. When I did go over to the American Academy of Ozone Therapy, which he recommended, and I looked into their findings, there wasn’t anything in the field of GI, at least regarding IBS, IBD, SIBO, or when searching the term “gastro.” There was only one study in thyroid, and this study did not find any impact on Hashimoto’s, or at least as best as I was able to determine from their abstract. So I remain open, but there’s a couple of things that make it challenging for me to get more fully on board, namely this being used in the clinical model, where there are multiple interventions being vectored at the same time. And then for the two areas that I’m chiefly concerned with, my clinical focus, GI and thyroid, nothing is really there that would support the hypothesis that ozone has a lot of merit.

DrMR:

Now that may be because there’s a paucity in the research, so I don’t want to say that lack of evidence is disproof, but those are some of my thoughts. I really enjoyed Akbar’s conversation on ozone, and I will withhold making this something that I explore until there is a little bit better evidence, at least in the areas that I’m treating, namely GI and thyroid. He does also mention auto-immunity and that’s a harder thing to get a purview regarding with a quick search, even in the American Academy of Ozone Therapy’s database. I didn’t see anything come up other than one study on lipid peroxidation when searching for the term auto-immunity. There are many autoimmune conditions, so I may have produced more if I took the time to look at an array of different autoimmune conditions, but IBD and thyroid didn’t really check out.

DrMR:

So open on the one hand, a little bit apprehensive on the other. Again, I’m really appreciative of the conversation and it is possible that there’s a lot of benefit that’s vectored from this therapy. But when using the tools that I use to help filter things that are ready to be brought into clinical practice, as opposed to those that don’t yet have the necessary evidence, I would label this one as not yet having the necessary evidence. Again, that’s important to remember, because there are so many things that knowing what to use and knowing what not to use is maybe half the battle. And this doesn’t mean that there are not a lot of great options. Akbar mentioned a Graves’ patient that he has seen; there are other options for Graves’ that have some evidence behind them. And so that’s what I lean towards, and that’s what I prefer.

DrMR:

Again, I want to give Akbar every benefit of the doubt. I appreciate the narrative, and I have no doubt that he’s helping patients. He may just be seeing conditions like certain cancers that are outside of my purview, and this makes more sense for those cases, or it could be that this is a therapy that isn’t that helpful, and it’s being masked by the multimodal way that he’s using them. So in any case, it was an interesting conversation with Akbar. Again, I’m really appreciative of it. Don’t let my remarks and scientific criticism be misconstrued as not appreciating him being willing to share his thoughts on ozone and how he’s using it. So, we will now go to the conversation with Akbar.

DrMR:

Hey, everyone. Welcome back to Dr. Ruscio radio. This is Dr. Ruscio here with Dr. Akbar Khan. And today we will be talking about ozone. This is something I admittedly know very little about other than my at home freezer unit, which I use for cryotherapy. I have an ozone filter in there in addition to an ozone light. So Akbar, that’s the extent of my knowledge, but I’m definitely curious to have you go over the one-on-one overview of this therapy.

DrAkbarKhan:

Yeah, absolutely. So I think a lot of people have probably heard about ozone for use in applications like what you’re talking about, like for purification of air, or even for water purification. For example, I have a hot tub and there’s an ozone generator for the hot tub, and that’s one of the things that keeps the water clean. So, I”m sure a lot of people have heard about ozone, but the medical application of this gas is really quite interesting. I’ve got a lot of great background to give your audience and some really interesting cases as well.

A Natural Approach to Medicine

DrMR:

Great. Well, tell us a little bit about your training first and how you found your way into ozone, because it’s not really a frontline therapy in any discipline. So I’m curious where you came from and how you found your way to using ozone.

DrAK:

So I’m a medical doctor by training. I’m a family physician, and as you probably know, natural treatment modalities are not really part of our training. I’ve been in practice for almost 30 years now, about 28 years or so. For most of my career, I was doing more conventional medicine. I used to focus on surgical assisting and pain and symptom management. Those were my main areas of practice. Mainly because of my work with cancer patients, I had opened a private clinic to try to help people get new therapies and emerging therapies that they weren’t getting through the regular medical system. Part of that was hiring a naturopathic doctor, because we knew that patients needed the service. And so that was my introduction to natural medicine. Although I didn’t really believe in it at the time, once we started working with the naturopath, I could clearly see that the natural approach to various diseases was often profoundly beneficial.

DrAK:

So that got me interested and that’s what got me starting to research the natural measures. So I think if you have medical doctors in your audience, they’re probably wondering, “Why all this natural stuff? Isn’t this is quackery?” That’s almost the way it’s presented to medical students. Don’t look at diet, don’t bother with natural medicines. This is all quackery. There’s no randomized trials, that sort of thing. I will get into that a little bit, there is a good reason for why there are not a lot of randomized trials. But that was my introduction.

DrAK:

Actually, I believed ozone to be literal quackery. I had heard of it many times. Naturopathic doctors had told me about it, they had raved about it. And I just thought, “Oh, no, what is this? This is nonsense, right?” But again, that was just my ignorance. Until a patient of mine actually went abroad and received treatment for his prostate cancer with ozone as the primary modality. We had imaging on him, so we had a scan beforehand that showed a tumor, he came back two months after ozone therapy, and I scanned him again and the tumor was completely gone. So that converted me and made me a believer to look at ozone and say, “Yeah, there is something to this.” Subsequently, I did several courses on ozone therapy and I studied with Dr. Robert Rowen, Dr. Frank Shallenberger, and some others as well who have extensive experience with ozone, and I’ve actually completed a certification program with the American Academy of Ozone Therapy.

Ozone and How it Works in the Body

DrMR:

So tell us, what exactly is ozone? I’m sure people have obviously heard of the ozone layer, and many people may have heard of ozone being used in an anti-microbial application, but tell us more about how it works inside the body.

DrAK:

Okay. Ozone is a form of oxygen. So it is a gas at room temperature. Oxygen that you’re breathing in the air is O2, so it’s two atoms of oxygen joined together. O2 is a stable molecule, and that is the form of oxygen that your body uses for its metabolism. Ozone is O3, so that is formed from regular oxygen. It’s basically formed by splitting apart O2 into single oxygen atoms, and then when they combine back together, most form O2, but some of them actually form this other chemical called O3 or ozone. In nature, it’s formed by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and it’s also formed by lightning strikes as lightning passes through the air with oxygen in it. So ozone forms ozone naturally. That’s what it is; it is a naturally-occurring gas.

DrAK:

Ozone has a very significant medical application when it is introduced into the body in very precise concentrations and in very low concentrations. You may look on the FDA website and they’re going to say, “Ozone is a toxic gas and it has no medical applications.” Well, that’s patently untrue. In high concentrations, yes, it’s a toxic gas, but in low concentrations, very precise, low concentrations, it has very significant medical applications. So you mentioned anti-microbial for example. Ozone can be put into the body in different ways, and it has a very significant anti-microbial effect. It can be used for difficult infections, chronic infections, Lyme, SIBO, many things like that.

DrAK:

It is actually well-researched as well, contrary to what a lot of medical doctors like me would have initially thought. When I did look into it, there were many publications on ozone, literally hundreds of publications detailing various applications for treatment of quite a wide range of conditions. And that also makes it difficult to believe, because you think, “Well, how can one gas in this case, how can one medicine treat so many different conditions?” But in fact it does, and you just have to look at illness in a different light, and then you can actually understand how it does work.

DrMR:

In what form is this typically administered? Something that I’ve heard some patients ask about is various types of ozonated oils. So is oil the carrier? Is it a gas that people inhale? How is this typically dosed?

DrAK:

Ozone is not typically inhaled, because if you inhale it into the lungs, it’s very irritating. It’ll make you cough, and then it can get worse than that if you use high concentrations. So that’s probably the only way that we don’t administer it. But ozonated oils, yes, that is one way to do it. That’s done by bubbling ozone gas into, let’s say, organic olive oil. What that does is change the chemistry of the oil, and even though the ozone gas doesn’t remain in the oil, it forms new stable chemicals in the oil, which have an effect similar to ozone. So ozonating oil is a very simple thing you can do, or you can buy pre-made ozonated oil. But the most powerful methods of using ozone in the body are probably blood treatments, where you actually remove blood from the body in a sterile circuit. There’s a machine that does all this. You bubble ozone into the blood, and the ozone reacts with the blood. The gas actually dissipates, so you’re not injecting ozone gas into the body, then you return the blood back to circulation. And that actually can be done multiple times in one session.

DrMR:

So is this almost like dialysis?

DrAK:

Almost, yeah. There is actually a machine that does more of a continuous ozonation, where you take blood out from one arm from an intravenous, it goes through an ozonation machine and then it goes back into an IV in another arm, which is almost exactly like a dialysis. That’s a very advanced technique, which we don’t have. I believe Indonesians are very big on that. They have clinics that do that, and maybe a couple of clinics in the States. That’s not something that we have; there are very few people doing that, but that’s quite advanced. So we have a machine that pumps it out, puts it in a bottle, ozonates, and then you put it back.

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Ozonated Oils

DrMR:

So that’s the main way that you’re using it. One of the things I’m curious about, if you have any comment, is regarding the ozonated oils, just because we’ll use so many herbal medicinal oils or powders, things like oil of oregano or perhaps a powder or something like berberine for IBS, for SIBO, or for fungal overgrowths. So are you using, or do you know of either clinical anecdotes or research published with ozonated oils used in that application?

DrAK:

Actually, yes. So I use ozonated oil myself. I mean, I always keep some at home. One of the properties of ozone is that it releases your own STEM cells, and it accelerates healing and repair in the body. So for me personally, I use the ozonated oil every time I have a cut or scrape. I put the oil on there and literally the pain from the injury is gone in about 10 minutes, and it’s healed overnight. It’s scabbed over, closed, and it’s impervious to water essentially in 24 hours. And if I don’t use the oil, the same type of wound in my case would take about three days to heal. So it is really quite a potent treatment. And as I say, it does speed up healing and repair in the body.

DrMR:

And if someone was looking to self-experiment, is that something that you recommend? Is this, I don’t want to say dangerous, because I’m assuming a dangerous dose of oils would be quite high, but can you tell us more about how user-friendly this is? Is it easy to do harm if one is using too much? What would a typical protocol be like, let’s say, for IBS and suspected dysbiosis or overgrowth of the flora? That might be one facet of health that I think our audience is the most concerned about.

DrAK:

Right. So ozone is incredibly safe. Again, as long as you don’t breathe it, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with ozone. So if you’re going to treat IBS, I guess one of the methods you could do is you could take ozonated oil and probably put it into capsules and you could swallow it. The other thing you could do is you could bubble ozone into pure water, and that will saturate ozone into the water and then you’d drink the water. This is a popular method for people to do at home. And especially if you don’t have access to a clinic that specializes in ozone therapy, it’s a very simple way to do it. You can actually buy the equipment to do home ozone therapy. It costs around $1500 for a setup that can do water ozonation, as well as rectal administration. That’s another popular way to do it at home, because the bowel has a very large surface area for absorption of substances. And so putting ozone gas into the rectum actually is a systemic treatment. The gas absorbs through the mucosa or lining of the colon. It gets into your bloodstream, and so you’re actually treating the whole body by putting ozone into the rectum.

DrMR:

And if someone was trying to find an easy access point to beta test this, is there a brand of ozonated oil that you like that can be purchased commercially?

DrAK:

Yeah, the one that I use is made by Longevity Resources. That’s a Canadian company. They’re in British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. That oil in particular is a very high potency olive oil. In fact, when you open a jar of this oil at room temperature, it’s not oily, it’s thick. It’s almost like a petroleum jelly. That shows you how well-ozonated that oil is. So I think that if your listeners are looking for a potent ozonated oil, they should look for something like this that’s thick at room temperature. That’s happens when you really add a lot of ozone to it. So Longevity Resources, that’s a very good, high-quality ozonated oil, and that’s the one I have personal experience with. It’s excellent.

Proper Dosing & Clinical Applications

DrMR:

Is there a certain dosing protocol that one should use? As an example, for something like herbal anti-microbial therapy, people will often take anywhere from two to eight capsules of a given product per day for one to two months as a starting point, and they should be seeing some kind of response usually within the first couple of weeks. Is there a similar trajectory when using the ozonated oils?

DrAK:

You could take the ozonated oil and put it into capsules. There’s not a lot of literature on the dosing, so there’s a little bit of trial and error there. I think you could probably fill a medium sized capsule, and I would say an intake of two or three capsules a day is very reasonable.

DrMR:

To simplify, can you take something like a teaspoon or a few teaspoons per day? I’m not suggesting it has to be via capsule, that’s just an analogy from how we’re using some of the others.

DrAK:

Well, it doesn’t taste great, so I think you’d probably want to put into a capsule. A teaspoon a day is actually a lot. This stuff is pretty potent. I don’t think you actually need that much. If you were to do a medium-sized capsule and fill it, you’d probably just need two to four capsules a day. I think that’d be enough. And ozonated water, if you’re going to make that at home yourself, I’d probably say doing half a liter to a liter of water per day. Basically, what you do is you ozonate the water, you bubble ozone through the water until it’s saturated, then you chill it. So you leave it in the fridge, and then you can take it out and sip that through the day. Because if you just keep it at room temperature, the ozone actually breaks down fairly quickly, and the water will lose its potency.

DrMR:

Is there also a pre-bottled version of that? Or is that too prone to maybe being left in the back of a truck?

DrAK:

You can’t really sell it because the half-life of ozone is very short. If you put ozone at room temperature into a glass container, just the gas in a container, the half-life is about 30 minutes. So within a couple of hours, it’s basically gone. So you have to generate it fresh, and that’s why I recommend for people that want to do this at home, you have to buy your own equipment, and you pretty much have to make it fresh every day.

DrMR:

Gotcha. How are you using this in the clinic? I know I’ve asked a few questions about IBS, but what’s your clinical experience been with ozone?

DrAK:

We do a lot of diverse things in our office. Our first focus was cancer, so we definitely use it a lot for cancer, but now that we’re doing more wellness and prevention and auto-immune disease and a whole range of other chronic diseases, we find quite a broad application. Ozone is actually an incredible treatment for auto-immune disease, and I know you have a lot of patients in that category. So I think that they should really take a look at it, especially the higher dose ozone, the blood ozonation. They could definitely do ozonated water at home, if they prefer to do it at home. Maybe even in the future, you might get it at your clinic. I think once you see the results of how patients do with this treatment, I think you’ll be quite impressed.

DrMR:

We can certainly have the best water in town, I guess.

DrAK:

So getting back to your question, we do treat auto-immune. I’ll give you a great example. A young fellow came to me just a couple of months ago. I would say he’s in his early forties. Thyroid disease, autoimmune thyroiditis, Graves’ disease. So, overactive thyroid, auto-immune. His endocrinologist said, “Look, you have to be on medication. It’s going to be at least two years before we even consider taking you off the medication.” But the reality is, you’ll probably never get off the medication because you’re not addressing the underlying cause of disease. So this fellow, he wanted ozone. He wanted the high dose blood ozonation, which in this case, we were doing 10 pass. So we’d treat his blood 10 times in one session. We essentially treated him with that, combined with a high dose vitamin D, and his overactive thyroid is completely in remission now. And he’s gone off his prescription drugs. So he no longer needs thyroid blocking medication, and all his parameters are in the normal range. Essentially all he did was ozone therapy and vitamin D.

DrMR:

Oh, that’s great. He was on Methimazole, I’m assuming?

DrAK:

That’s correct. He was on Methimazole, and he no longer needs that, because his thyroid has now corrected itself. So there’s no more auto-immune attack on the thyroid. Ozone regulates the immune system.

DrMR:

And what is the ballpark cost for that blood treatment?

DrAK:

The blood treatment is probably the most expensive form of ozone therapy. In our clinic, I think it ranges between about between about $250 and $650 Canadian dollars. In the U.S., I think most clinics are in the same ballpark. The highest I’ve seen it in the U.S. is probably about $1,000 for a 10 pass. So that is probably one of the more expensive ways to give ozone, but it’s also the way to get the highest dose of ozone into the body. Ozonated salient infusion is a more affordable alternative to that. So we bubble ozone into salt water, and then we infuse that into the vein, and that’s much more affordable. That’s under $300, and it’s still quite potent. And then as I said, rectal ozonation, which is under $100. The other thing I should probably mention is ozone sauna. Some people do that at home. Essentially it’s a box that you sit in, and it fills up with humidified ozone gas and it absorbs through the skin. So that’s another, do it yourself ozone therapy.

DrMR:

So one of those boxes where your head’s kind of popping out of the top?

DrAK:

That’s it, you got it. Your head is out of the box.

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DrMR:

So for auto-immune disease, what other conditions are you seeing? And also, if you have conditions that you feel it hasn’t worked well for, I’d be curious to tell our audience what might be the low-hanging fruit, and where this might not be a very fruitful place to pursue.

DrAK:

So we have used it for auto-immune quite a bit with excellent results. We use it for treating chronic pains of all kinds, especially osteoarthritis, bulging discs, and nerve compression in the back, because it reduces inflammation and it has a direct effect on the pain. Because some of these chronic pain conditions actually involve mitochondrial dysfunction, where the cells are not generating energy properly or not utilizing oxygen properly, and ozone corrects that. For cancer, it’s a great adjunct. I would say it’s not a very powerful stand-alone therapy. So I don’t really recommend ozone by itself to treat cancer, but it’s excellent with other natural therapies, as well as excellent with chemotherapy and radiation because it mitigate side effects as well as enhances the therapy. Direct ozone injection into the prostate is very powerful for enlarged prostate. It can shrink the prostate within weeks. We’ve seen some great results with that.

DrAK:

Infections of all kinds, again, as an adjunct. So to combine, let’s say, with the herbalists that you’re using, you can use ozone therapy along with them, and that’ll give it a nice boost. inflammatory conditions, bursitis, tendonitis, that sort of thing. Carpal tunnel, it’s incredible for carpal tunnel. Our office manager had carpal tunnel and we gave her a single injection of ozone directly into the wrist, and it’s completely resolved. Nerve injuries, we’ve had patients that have nerve injuries, like let’s say with surgery. In the incision, there’s a chronic pain, because the incision is not healing properly and some of the nerves in there are not healing. Patients have burning pain at their incisions, severe shooting pains not going away months and months after surgery. One or two shots of ozone in there can stimulate healing, and the nerve pain resolves. It’s incredible for diabetic foot ulcers and non-healing wounds. There’s so many applications, it’s hard to think of everything.

DrMR:

The anti-microbial action sounds like it also may have some sort of hormetic effect on the body, but what else is going on to help via so many different mechanisms, such as immune, nerve, inflammatory, and mitochondrial?

Anti-Microbial Effects of Ozone

DrAK:

Ozone has a direct anti-microbial effect. It can kill germs on contact at concentrations which are not harmful. So if you’re putting ozone into the body, you’re not actually poisoning the body’s cells, but at the same time, you can kill germs. So it does have a direct anti-microbial effect. It also has an indirect anti-microbial effect by enhancing your immune function. It boosts your natural immunity. In fact, an Italian group has published a paper on using ozone to treat COVID. They showed about a 95% cure rate for early stage COVID using about three days of ozone therapy. And we’re probably not supposed to talk about that, but it’s a publication, so I’m referencing a publication. It’s not my opinion.

DrMR:

Well, be careful. That’s enough to get you shut down.

DrAK:

That’s right. And then for cancer, it has both the direct and indirect effect. If you inject ozone into a tumor, it will kill cancer cells on contact, but if you’re injecting it through the blood, that’s an indirect effect, because what you’re doing is you’re boosting the immune system, but also you’re boosting the level of certain anti-cancer proteins in the blood. Then for healing and repair, it releases your own STEM cells, plus it enhances mitochondrial function. One of the theories is that things that are not healing in your body, let’s say a nerve injury that’s not healing, one of the theories is that there’s a disorder of mitochondria function. The cells are not metabolizing; they’re not using oxygen properly, they’re not using their nutrients properly. And because they’re not working right, one of the results is improper healing, and that has chronic pain.

DrAK:

So ozone actually corrects the mitochondria function and restores the normal function of the cells. There’s actually multiple mechanisms of how it works. This has been well-researched and well-published. There have been books written on it. On PubMed or on Medline, your audience can go on there and they can search for ozone. More of the research is coming out of Europe. But if anybody’s interested, if they go on our website, we have links to the research, and we can help them do their own research on ozone therapy so they can learn firsthand the strength of the science behind all this

DrMR:

I’m looking at some of the papers that you sent over. It looks like much of this is in the field of oncology. Is that a fair summation where there’s a clustering of studies in that realm?

DrAK:

I mean, there is some in the field of oncology, but there actually are quite a broad range of publications on ozone. Again, mainly European. I think a couple of places where your audience can go to look at stuff is at the American Academy of Ozone Therapy and Ozone Without Borders. So if they just type in either of those into Google, they’ll come up with those websites, that will link to further information on the topic. So there is extensive literature.

DrMR:

Does the literature have any findings in the field of GI, namely IBS or IBD?

DrAK:

There’s too much for me to recall. I’m sure there is. If you’d like, I can send you some papers once I do a little more digging into it, and you can put them on your website for your listeners. But I’m sure there is, because there’s so much out there that it’s beyond my ability to recall.

DrMR:

Sure. Well, if you have a moment, I’ll put that out there as an optional for our audience. Whatever you’re able to send over, if you are. I understand we’re all operating with limited time and focus, but if you can. If there are any studies in IBS, IBD or thyroid, I’m sure our audience would love to give those a quick glance.

DrAK:

Yeah definitely, I can do that for you.

DrMR:

What about conditions for which you haven’t found much of a response to ozone?

DrAK:

I think with some people that are using ozone more as a standalone. I think that they’re trying to use it as a standalone for cancer, and they’re trying to use it for difficult infections. Although it may be effective, I prefer a multimodal type of approach. I prefer a combination approach for those conditions. So I don’t know, do you treat Lyme?

DrMR:

I don’t, no, but I could see this being something, and I think I have heard through the grapevine people using ozone for Lyme. So you’re contention is that ozone alone may be insufficient, but if you’re combining that with herbal or antibiotic therapy, it seems to have an effective synergy?

DrAK:

Yeah, that’s exactly what I would say. I don’t typically recommend ozone as a stand-alone to my patients with Lyme. I would do a combination with ozone, probably a high dose of vitamin D, nano-particle silver, maybe some mushroom supplements, and then antibiotics as well. Some people are very against antibiotics, so we sometimes do a regimen without, but I find that a combination of allopathic and naturopathic is often quite powerful.

Proving Research on Ozone

DrMR:

Sure. I can totally appreciate that. And I can also appreciate needing to weave together a few different therapies to get the effect that you’re looking for. You may get 20% from one line of therapy, and then 30% from another, and 15% from another. You string enough of these things together, and you end up with the personalized plan that works with the individual, which we’ve talked about it ad nauseum on the podcast. That being said, are you doing anything to isolate for and see the effect plus or minus ozone? This is the drawback or the downside of a multimodal, therapeutic approach; it can be hard to tell where benefit is coming from if we’re vectoring three, four or five things at the same time.

DrMR:

One of the things that’s been helpful for me in that application is a staggering. That helps give me a sense of when we get that 20% and then another 30%, or what have you. Have any steps have been taken to try to suss out the impact of the ozone, given the way that you’re using it?

DrAK:

I think you’re absolutely right. If you’re doing a multimodal type of approach, you don’t really know what is working. It can be difficult then to evaluate that and then plan for the treatments going forward. But I like your idea of staggering. I think that makes a lot of sense, and sometimes we do that. Actually, we get a lot of patients that have gone to other practitioners and failed all kinds of treatments. So I tend to get a lot of really difficult cases. So for those, I don’t really care what works, as long as it works. Then we just do a combination and we hit them with several treatments at once, and we’re just looking for a result. That doesn’t give me the data if I’m looking for data, but it is practical. It treats the patient. So I think it depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re doing more research, then yes, it’s not ideal to just do a combination approach, because you’re not going to get an answer. But if your goal is just trying to get the patient better, then does it really matter? Sometimes not.

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Contraindications to Treatment

DrMR:

Are there any conditions or contraindications suggesting that someone should avoid ozone?

DrAK:

Yeah, there’s a few. I mean, you don’t really run into them very often. Apparently, there is such a thing as ozone allergy. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I’ve never seen it, but if you read up on it, this is one of the things that you have to avoid. Some people are just sensitive to ozone, so I wonder if that may be the case. You don’t give them a very high dose, and they end up getting headaches and vomiting and just generally feeling unwell. So in that case, the dose has to be reduced.

DrMR:

Let linger there for a second, because one of the things that I really try to distinguish is using a Herxheimer’s or a die-off as a scapegoat. I think this probably comes from those in the field who are recommending it from a good place, but what I’ve ended up seeing is people just suffering needlessly for weeks and weeks. Usually what I observe is when you’re getting to around the week mark, if it is a die-off or Herxheimer’s, there’s going to be a resolution of that reaction and by that transition period they’re back to baseline or feeling better.

DrAK:

Yes, definitely. There is a group of patients that are sensitive to ozone. We’ve seen it; we don’t see a lot of it. Whereas a typical dose you’d give to somebody and they’d have absolutely no side effects, but these people that are sensitive can get vomiting, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. To me, that’s an ozone overdose for those patients. So we just have to lower the dose. In fact, that kind of proves that it is just a dose-related phenomenon. By lowering the dose and you retreat them, they do fine. So it’s not truly an allergy, and it’s not a Herx, it is actually just an ozone dose-related side effect.

DrMR:

Are there individuals that still have an intolerance at a lower dose?

DrAK:

Well, I guess. I haven’t seen them, but that could be the true allergy if it does exist. Like I said, it is in literature, if you look it up. Cardiovascular instability is one of the contraindications. So if you’re having unstable angina, that’s something that they don’t recommend ozone for. Thyrotoxicosis is another condition. With pregnancy, there’s probably not a lot of literature on it, so I think it’s not recommended.

DrMR:

Would the thyrotoxicosis mean that managed Graves’ patients would be a candidate, but those who are unmanaged would not?

DrAK:

I think if they’re really out of control. If they really have severe thyrotoxicosis, then you don’t apply ozone immediately. You want to get that settled first. So the patient that I mentioned, he wasn’t that bad anyway, but I put him on Methimazole first, and started to get the numbers to improve and then I introduced the ozone.

DrMR:

Okay. So just a good point for our audience, not that I think our audience is ardently natural medicine and totally avoidant of conventional medicine. I think we’ve tried to establish that a melding of the two ends up being the optimal approach. This would be a great example of that. But just to echo this, for some patients that are apprehensive about Methimazole, I recommend to them that’s a fine starting point that can get things calmed down, and then we can go to work underneath the surface. There are natural agents, namely L-carnitine that also help to dampen the Graves’, but I would have little reservation using Methimazole over L-carnitine if someone had more ready access to it. I think the first thing is to get the Graves’ under control from a thyroid hormone perspective, and then you can go digging underneath the surface to try to resolve the cause.

DrAK:

Yeah. I think that makes a lot of sense.

DrMR:

You said with pregnancy?

DrAK:

Well with pregnancy, I just don’t think there’s a lot of data on it.

DrMR:

Always better to be safe than sorry there, God forbid.

DrAK:

Yeah, and a G6PD deficiency is a contraindication, and just like a high-dose vitamin C, you can cause a breakdown of the red blood cells if you give high dose ozone. But some people have a mild deficiency, and then you can still treat with ozone. So I think this is more of a judgment call for the practitioner as to what type of ozone they can use if you are actually a G6PD deficient. For the blood ozonation, one of the cautions is, of course, if they have a coagulation problem, because we are using a blood thinner. When the blood exits the body and then enters back in, you have to put a blood thinner in, otherwise the blood clots. So if they have a pre-existing clotting disorder, then that could be a contraindication.

Episode Wrap-Up

DrMR:

Okay. Anything else that you think people should know about ozone? I mean, I’m sure there’s a lot that you’d like to share here, but any high-level items that would be helpful in steering people down the right path if they’re thinking about exploring this therapy?

DrAK:

Like with anything new, I want people to do their own homework. I don’t want them to just believe me. They need to go and start looking at the literature themselves, talk to you, talk to the professionals. Just because ozone is such a unique therapy, maybe your audience is already accustomed to this, but more of the medical doctors, they don’t really understand how a simple, single therapy has such a broad application. They think of everything as a drug, whereas ozone’s not really a drug. It’s more what they call a biological response modifier. It changes the way your body responds to things. It changes your immune function. I didn’t even mention it has anti-aging effects too, so some of your audience might enjoy that. But you have to look at it differently. So it’s not like a drug that targets a particular receptor, or blocks an enzyme, or attacks a protein. This is a very different approach. And so I think it’s an important point to understand ozone not as a drug, but more as a biologic response modifier.

DrMR:

Yeah, I can appreciate that. And that’s why I loosely am looking at it almost like a hormetic stressor. I’m wondering, is that how it works for STEM cells, or is there a different mechanism by which it stimulates the STEM cells?

DrAK:

That’s probably the mechanism. Again, I’d have to look at all the details of the research. That’s a very technical question that you asked.

DrMR:

Fair enough. As an outcome buff myself, I can totally appreciate focusing on outcome and putting a secondary emphasis on mechanisms. So no problem at all there.

DrAK:

We know it does release your STEM cells, and so it activates them to go and heal an area of injury in the body.

DrMR:

Sure, okay. Where can people find more about you, your clinic, and your work?

DrAK:

I think the easiest is probably if they want to go on one of our websites. If they have interest in cancer, it’s Medicor at medicorcancer.com. If it’s more general wellness and prevention, it’s Sano Via Wellness, sanoviawellness.com. And my direct email is on there, so if anybody has a specific question, if they’re looking for literature on something, I can probably point them in the right direction. They’re welcome to email me directly.

DrMR:

Awesome. Well, Akbar, thank you very much for taking some time to get me more up to speed in this therapy. I will be even more mindful not to have my ozone filter on while I’m in there, so I’m not breathing anything in. And I just really appreciate you taking the time.

DrAK:

Oh, it’s a pleasure. Thank you very much for having me on your show.

Outro:

Thank you for listening to Dr. Ruscio radio today. Check us out on iTunes and leave a review. Visit Dr. Ruscio.com to ask a question for an upcoming podcast, post comments for today’s show, and sign up to receive weekly updates.

 

➕ Dr. Ruscio’s Notes

Overview, what is ozone

  • Definition: O3; oxygen (O2) + one additional O molecule

 

How does it work?

  • Low doses can be medicinal.
  • High concentrations can be toxic
  • Ozone is
    •  Antimicrobial
  • Administered via ozonated oils
  • Ozonation of blood
  • Blood dialysis-like procedure
  • It stimulates stem cells

 

Products & use

  • Ozonated oil or water
  • Ozonated water
    • ½-1 liter per day, sip on through day, keep refrigerated
  • Longevity Resources for ozonated olive oil
    • 2-4 medium sized capsules per day

 

Clinical use?

Works well for

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Chronic pain; OA, discs, nerve injury and compression 
    • Inflammation and pain, mitochondria
  • Cancer adjunct
  • Enlarged prostate

May not work as well for

  • As a stand alone for cancer or infection

Cost

  • Blood: $250-$1,000
  • Saline: <$300

 

Contraindications

  • Ozone allergy, individuals might react; vomit, nausea, headache, fatigue
  • Cardiovascular instability
  • Pregnancy
  • GSPD deficiency
  • Coagulation disorder

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