Ozone therapy mechanisms and Frequently Asked Questions about Ozone Therapy

The Oxygen and Oxidative Therapies: broad utility in treating chronic degenerative disease and in anti-aging. (Ozone, ultraviolet blood irradiation)

In office, patients may notice that others in the IV room are getting an interesting treatment whereby their own blood is being re-infused after treatment with ozone gas.  Inevitably, the interest of seeing a patient’s own blood, instead of the B-vitamin rich yellow fluids most people see, sparks conversation.  Patients may describe their experience with these treatments.  In our experience, major autohemotherapy may positively affect energy and mood and then further into the course of 6-10 treatments the chief complaint (usually of recurrent infections, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, or allergies) may start to improve.  Not all patients respond, but those that do typically notice a partial change within the first 3-4 treatments. If there is nothing noted at this point, we typically discuss other options. If there is improvement, then we continue until a plateau.

Therefore, this will give an abbreviated description of the mechanism in the manner that I describe to patients.  With the mechanism, the diseases and complaints treated then become more apparent. 

In medicine, the paradigm has always been extremely linear.  The doctor makes a diagnosis based on symptoms and history, and then for each individual diagnosis there is an individual drug.  In naturopathic medicine, this linear method is important but it must be supported with non-linear thinking and treatments.  Basically, the non-linear components are cellular nutrition and cellular detoxification. If a cell has all the resources it needs, and is not impeded by toxins, healing may be expedited.  Naturopathic treatments such as ozone treatments of the blood, combined with chelation therapy (cellular detoxification) may be beneficial treatments for chronic diseases; and when combined with diet and exercise, and customized to individual needs.

One of the reasons why the oxygen/oxidative therapies (ozone) and chelation have always been so controversial (even more controversial than the fact that vitamins and minerals might be useful in treating non-deficiency related diseases), in my opinion, is that they don’t fit into the linear paradigm.  In other words, while they are the crown-jewels of healing for many doctors, their use is too broad to be received by conventional medicine.  Even chelation therapy is subject to the same limitations, as the $30 million dollar study by the National Institutes of Health is limited to a subset of cardiovascular patients, those who have already had heart attacks, even though its’ use is so much more broad.  Ozone falls into the same category, but more so.  Instead of just detoxifying cells, as chelation does, ozone also provides, in my opinion, the most important nutritional component to cells, energy: ozone stimulates cellular energy production.  This was recently demonstrated also in wound healing macrophages in Georgian Med News. 2018 Mar;(276):98-101.

In fact, in our opinion, many chronic diseases have the common factor of decreased mitochondrial energy production.  Even the aging process itself has been shown to have this single problem at the cellular level.  When a patient receives a chelation treatment, they clear heavy metals that may inhibit energy production pathways.  When a patient receives an ozone treatment, they may stimulate the energy producing pathways of the cells.  In my experience, the combination has a remarkable healing process on many diseases; however the most clinically remarkable effect involve two groups of diseases: 1) diseases improved by better delivery and utilization of oxygen: hypoglycemia, diabetes, fatigue and 2) diseases with an aberrant immune system component: chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia, allergies, auto-immune disease/arthritis, persistent or recurrent infections.  The most likely reason for these two improvements involve the types of cells that we treat when we give ozone to the blood and then reinfuse the blood.

Our blood is made of two types of cells which include the red blood cells and the white blood cells.  The first group of diseases often  improves, in my experience, when we improve our metabolism and the efficiency with which we combine our food substrates with oxygen to make energy.  For example, when we metabolize sugar, if we run at 100% efficiency each molecule of sugar will generate 38 units of energy.  This occurs when that molecule of sugar goes through a series of reactions and then ultimately reacts with oxygen.  If that molecule of sugar does not react with oxygen but instead inefficiently ferments, then we get 2 units of energy only.  The initial result is that the cells must burn much more sugar in order to get the same out put of energy – the result is hypoglycemia and/or fatigue.  When this energy production becomes even more inefficient then the result is diabetes.  Thus when we give ozone treatments, in my experience (through the mechanisms described below) this energy production may be restored to a better efficiency and hypoglycemic attacks disappear, fatigue may be replaced with energy.

The second group of diseases may improve from ozone’s effects on the white blood cells.  The white blood cells in the blood make up an important part of the immune system.  A researcher out of Italy, Dr Bocci, has shown that ozone treatments of the blood in the form of major autohemotherapy increase remarkably two chemicals called interferon gamma and tumor necrosis factor alpha.  These chemicals are called cytokines and are specifically responsible for a rebalancing and stimulation of the immune system.  In my experience, this effect is most remarkable in pain and fatigue associated with a deranged immune system; such as auto-immune type arthritis.  In cancer, it may be a useful adjunctive therapy to keep the patient strong during chemotherapy and radiation and also to support the immune system in it’s fight with cancer.  

A good summary on the mechanisms of ozone has been published at Curr Med Chem. 2016;23(4):304-14. Ozone: A Multifaceted Molecule with Unexpected Therapeutic Activity.

Ozone FAQ

This FAQ is designed to help you understand how ozone therapy may help patients with:

·        cardiovascular disease (especially angina)

·        chronic fatigue/pain (poor oxygen utilization)

·        allergies and sensitivities

·        What is ozone?

·        Ozone is an energized form of oxygen that is highly reactive. The oxygen that we breathe is actually two molecules of oxygen bonded to each other. Ozone is made from medical oxygen and a machine that provides electrical energy. Ozone is actually three molecules of oxygen bonded to each other.

·        What is ozone therapy?

·        Ozone therapy is a simple naturopathic medical procedure that may improve both circulation and utilization of oxygen by the tissues. Circulation may be improved as ozone decreases the thickness and viscosity of the blood, and may stimulate dilation and relaxation of the artery walls. This may help compensate for blockages in the arteries from fats (atheromatous plaques).

·        Ozone also has very well-defined effects on the immune system, particularly by regulating the activity of the white blood cells. In my experience, this makes it a useful treatment in allergic and autoimmune conditions.

·        The naturopathic procedure is similar to an IV treatment. A small amount of blood, roughly 100 - 125 mls, is removed into disposable sterile containers. While this is occurring, the ozone is added to the blood. After a short period of mixing, the blood is reinfused. 

·        How long does the procedure take? Does it hurt?

·        It can take between 30-45 minutes. Aside from the initial small needle stick, there is typically no pain.

How does ozone therapy work as a natural way of treating heart disease and chronic fatigue?

Ozone therapy may stimulate both proper circulation (delivery of oxygen), and proper energy generation (utilization of oxygen). The cells in your body, including the heart (angina), muscles (claudication pain) generate their own energy for use. Oxygen is vital to this process. If the cells can generate enough energy, there will be less fatigue and less pain. Ozone may support both oxygen delivery and with the way the cells use oxygen once it has been delivered.

In our experience, many patients find:

·        less medication is required

·        they can do much more physical activity (walking, exercise, gardening)

·        they can think much more clearly

·        life becomes more normal

How does ozone therapy work as a natural way of treating allergies and sensitivities?

When ozone is added to the blood, it also has effects on the immune cells (white blood cells). Ozone increases the chemicals that immune cells use to communicate with each other. IL-6, IL-12, IFN are all increased. The orchestra of chemicals that is stimulated communicates and may have a rebalancing effect on the immune system after the blood is reinfused.

How long does it take to feel better?

A typical course of ozone therapy lasts 6-10 treatments, given once to twice a week. In my experience, patients may begin to feel better after the 2nd or 3rd treatment.  

Are there any negatives to ozone therapy?

A study in Germany showed that ozone is one of the safest medical therapies. There is a slight possibility of allergy to heparin, though this is a commonly used blood thinner. Some patients do not like the site of their own blood, but they quickly become accustomed to this. 

In our experience, the most frequently seen (but still rare) side effect is a fainting reaction due not at all to the volume of the blood, but rather the needle experience as well as seeing the blood. Possible but extremely rare complications may include soft tissue infection (as with any injection / blood draw), or vein inflammation and clots.

One recent case study has been published on ozone therapy where a single patient with kidney failure had high blood potassium and subsequent arrythmia. The authors had concluded that the ozone therapy (which looked to be done 9 days in a row) was to blame, but this is not at all clear. The authors did not think that red cell breakdown was responsible for the high blood potassium, but that is the only mechanism that would make sense if the ozone was done daily. Theoretically low grade red cell breakdown would release potassium, and if the treatment is overdone and the kidneys can not excrete this could accumulate.

What does ozone therapy cost?

$110 - 120 per treatment.

What are my other naturopathic treatment options?

Dr Chan or Dr Ward will discuss the most appropriate naturopathic procedures for your condition with you. For cardiovascular disease, chelation therapy or IV phosphytidyl choline may also be an option. In my experience, these treatments tend to work slightly slower than ozone therapy, so ozone therapy may be better if you have significant symptoms.  Naturopathic medicine is general in nature and thus diet, lifestyle, nutritional, and toxic factors will be discussed. This helps to maintain the benefits from ozone therapy.


References: Ozone


Bocci V, Zanardia I, Valacchi G, Borrelli E, Travagli V. 2015. Validity of Oxygen-Ozone Therapy as Integrated Medication Form in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. Cardiovasc Hematol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;15(2):127-38.


Giunta R, Coppola A, Luongo C, Sammartino A, Guastafierro S, Grassia A, Giunta L, Mascolo L, Tirelli A, Coppola L. 2001. Ozonized autohemotransfusion improves hemorheological parameters and oxygen delivery to tissues in patients with peripheral occlusive arterial disease. Ann Hematol. 2001 Dec;80(12):745-8.


Valacchi G, Bocci V. 2000. Studies on the biological effects of ozone: 11. Release of factors from human endothelial cells. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(6):271-6.


Inal M, Dokumacioglu A, Özcelik E, Ucar O. 2011. The effects of ozone therapy and coenzyme Q₁₀ combination on oxidative stress markers in healthy subjects. Ir J Med Sci. 2011 Sep;180(3):703-7.


Wu XN, Zhang T, Wang J, Liu XY, Li ZS, Xiang W, Du WQ, Yang HJ, Xiong TG, Deng WT, Peng KR, Pan SY. 2016. Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging following major ozonated autohemotherapy for treatment of acute cerebral infarction. Neural Regen Res. 2016 Jul;11(7):1115-21.


Smith NL, Wilson AL, Gandhi J, Vatsia S, Khan SA. 2017. Ozone therapy: an overview of pharmacodynamics, current research, and clinical utility. Med Gas Res. 2017 Oct 17;7(3):212-219.


Molinari F, Simonetti V, Franzini M, Pandolfi S, Vaiano F, Valdenassi L, Liboni W. 2014. Ozone autohemotherapy induces long-term cerebral metabolic changes in multiple sclerosis patients. Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2014 Jul-Sep;27(3):379-89.



References: Ozone and Diabetes


Bocci V, Zanardi I, Huijberts MS, Travagli V. 2011.  Diabetes and chronic oxidative stress. A perspective based on the possible usefulness of ozone therapy. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2011 Jan-Mar;5(1):45-9.


Bocci V, Zanardi I1, Huijberts MS, Travagli V. 2014. It is time to integrate conventional therapy by ozone therapy in type-2 diabetes patients. Ann Transl Med. 2014 Dec;2(12):117.


Bocci V, Zanardi I, Huijberts MS, Travagli V4. 2014. Diabetes Metab Syndr. 2014 An integrated medical treatment for type-2 diabetes.  Jan-Mar;8(1):57-61.


de Monte A, van der Zee H, Bocci V. 2005. Major ozonated autohemotherapy in chronic limb ischemia with ulcerations. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Apr;11(2):363-7.


Braidy N, Izadi M, Sureda A, Jonaidi-Jafari N, Banki A, Nabavi SF, Nabavi SM5. 2018. Therapeutic relevance of ozone therapy in degenerative diseases: Focus on diabetes and spinal pain. J Cell Physiol. 2018 Apr;233(4):2705-2714.



References: Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation


Hamblin MR. 2017. Ultraviolet Irradiation of Blood: "The Cure That Time Forgot"? Adv Exp Med Biol. 2017;996:295-309.


Wu X, Hu X, Hamblin MR. 2016. Ultraviolet blood irradiation: Is it time to remember "the cure that time forgot"? J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Apr;157:89-96.


Kuenstner JT, Mukherjee S, Weg S, Landry T, Petrie T. 2015. The treatment of infectious disease with a medical device: results of a clinical trial of ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) in patients with hepatitis C infection. Int J Infect Dis. 2015 Aug;37:58-63.


References: IV chelation, vitamins/minerals for cardiovascular disease

Issa OM1, Roberts R2, Mark DB2, Boineau R3, Goertz C4, Rosenberg Y5, Lewis EF6, Guarneri E7, Drisko J8, Magaziner A9, Lee KL2, Lamas GA10. 2018. Effect of high-dose oral multivitamins and minerals in participants not treated with statins in the randomized Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy (TACT). Am Heart J. 2018 Jan;195:70-77.

Diaz D1, Fonseca V2, Aude YW3, Lamas GA1. 2018. Chelation therapy to prevent diabetes-associated cardiovascular events. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2018 Aug;25(4):258-266.


References: Chelation therapy

Alessandro Fulgenzi and Maria Elena Ferrero  2019. EDTA Chelation Therapy for the Treatment of Neurotoxicity Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20(5), 1019.

Bamonti, F.; Fulgenzi, A.; Novembrino, C.; Ferrero, M.E. Metal chelation therapy in rheumathoid arthritis: A case report: Successful management of rheumathoid arthritis by metal chelation therapy. Biometals 2011.

Fulgenzi, A.; Zanella, S.G.; Mariani, M.M.; Vietti, D.; Ferrero, M.E. A case of multiple sclerosis improvement following removal of heavy metal intoxication: Lessons learnt from Matteo’s case. Biometals 2012, 25, 569–576.

Fulgenzi, A.; Vietti, D.; Ferrero, M.E. Aluminium involvement in neurotoxicity. Biomed. Res. Int. 2014, 2014,758323.  

Fulgenzi, A.; De Giuseppe, R.; Bamonti, F.; Vietti, D.; Ferrero, M.E. Efficacy of chelation therapy to remove aluminium intoxication. J. Inorg. Biochem. 2015, 152, 214–218.

Fulgenzi, A.; De Giuseppe, R.; Bamonti, F.; Ferrero, M.E. Improvement of oxidative and metabolic parameters by cellfood administration in patients affected by neurodegenerative diseases on chelation treatment. Biomed. Res. Int. 2014, 2014.

Roussel, A.M.; Hininger-Favier, I.;Waters, R.S.; Osman, M.; Fernholz, K.; Anderson, R.A. EDTA Chelation therapy, without added vitamin C, decreases oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation. Altern. Med. Rev. 2009, 14, 56–62.


References: Detoxification improving risk factors and healing chronic disease (brief examples of many):

·[Leaded gasoline and cancer mortality]

Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1976 Apr 10;106(15):503-6.

·Association between malignant tumors of the thyroid gland and exposure to environmental protective and risk factors.

Rev Environ Health. 2000 Jul-Sep;15(3):337-58. 

·Organophosphorus ester-induced chronic neurotoxicity. Arch Environ Health. 2003 Aug;58(8):484-97. Review.