Alternatives & Traditional

Archive for January, 2013

Ozone Misinformation

I was recently reading a post on the internet entitled “Ozone Therapy/ Common Mistakesposted by Bret Peirce, founder of American Cancer Advocates.

Even though the concept of the article is good, most of the information is incorrect.

Ozone therapy is fantastic for many things and administered properly is one of the safest therapies available for many diseases and disorders including cancer.  As with any therapy though, ozone therapy can be very dangerous and cause a lot of harm and possibly even death if improperly administered.  Therefore, the goal of this blog article is to address what I see as misinforming claims being made by Mr. Peirce regarding ozone therapy.

Mr. Peirce starts by stating he is listing the primary mistakes made with ozone therapy in regards to cancer.

In the first claim Mr. Peirce states a failure to check lactic acid levels before starting the therapy.  The problem with this claim is that contrary to popular belief cancer cells DO NOT secrete lactic acid.  In fact, no human cells secrete lactic acid.  The only cells in or on the body that secrete lactic acid are beneficial bacterial cells that inhabit the body commonly referred to as “flora”.  These bacteria secrete lactic and other acids to help control pathogens and to aid in nutrient assimilation.

Human cells can generate non-acidic lactate, which is frequently and incorrectly referred to as lactic acid even though lactic acid and lactate are not the same thing.

Regardless, lactate is an important fuel for the body’s cells and is generally regulated by the body preventing excessively high or low levels.

Reading Mr. Peirce’s past posts Mr. Peirce’s reasoning is that oxygen cannot enter cancer cells unless the cells are sufficiently alkalized. Therefore, Mr. Peirce recommends using heavy metal salts to neutralize the lactic acid so oxygen from oxygen therapies can enter the cancer cells.  The problems with these claims are:

  1.  Cancer cells do not secrete lactic acid.
  2. The internal pH of cancer cells is already more alkaline than healthy cells and excess alkalinity of healthy cells have been shown to induce transformation of healthy cells in to cancer cells (1,2,3,4,5,6).  Cancer cells cannot tolerate an acidic pH, which kills them, and therefore cancer cells export acidic hydrogen ions (protons) in to the external matrix to maintain the internal alkalinity cancer cells need to survive and proliferate (5,6,7,8).
  3. Alkalinity actually promotes anaerobic glycolysis of cancer cells (9).  This could be from the fact that alkalinity reduces oxygen utilization by inhibiting oxygen release from hemoglobin and by constricting blood vessels leading to decreased circulation(10,11,12).
  4. Cancer cells have a higher affinity for oxygen than normal cells and utilize that oxygen very well (13,14).  On the other hand cancer cells die in the absence of oxygen.  The process of cancer cells dying due to a lack of oxygen during their early stages of development lead to the production of angiogenesis growth factors that stimulate the formation of blood vessels that brings sufficient oxygen and nutrients to the cancer cells for the cancer cells to survive and thrive (13,15,16).

Therefore, adding heavy metal alkaline salts as is being recommended will make no difference as regards to the effectiveness of ozone therapy, but the salts can pose health problems themselves.

For example, the most common alkaline salt recommended for cancer treatment alone or with ozone is cesium chloride.  The use of cesium chloride is actually based on numerous false premises, but that is another story.  Cesium chloride has not only been shown to be a failure in the treatment of cancer, it has also been shown to induce cancer and promote existing cancers (17,18,19,20,21,22,23).

Cesium chloride can also cause heart related side effects (24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34) and liver damage (35).

In Mr. Peirce’s second claim Mr. Peirce claims it is a mistake to fail using a maximum dose.  Not only is this claim incorrect, but it is EXTREMELY dangerous!

First of all there is no definition of “dose”.  Dose could refer to the concentration or the volume, which both present their problems in excess.

Concentration refers to the milligrams per milliliter (mg/ml) also referred to as gamma.  Since most ozone therapy for cancer is administered internally through injection or insufflation the proper concentration is essential.  Ozone is administered internally only in trace amounts of ozone to oxygen since higher concentrations can damage tissues and hemolyze red blood cells leading to serious health issues.

Volume refers the actual amount of ozone administered at a given concentration.  If ozone is administered at the proper concentration then larger volumes can be administered as long as it is administered slow enough.  Administering a large volume of ozone to quickly by injection or vaginal insufflations risks the possibility of embolus.  Administering ozone too quickly though by rectal insufflation risks overinflating the colon and rupturing the colon wall.

Mr. Peirce’s claims continue with oxidative stress can be countered by adding catalase. And if no oxidative stress is present the person can go higher in their dose.

If the author had done his research he would have found that catalase (CAT) is only one of several antioxidant enzymes produced by the body.  And CAT along with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidases are increased by properly administered ozone therapy.  This reduces the risk of oxidative damage to healthy cells already, but a high concentration or dose of ozone too quickly can still cause damage or death regardless of the increase of antioxidant enzymes stimulated by ozone therapy.

Pathogens and cancer cells lack these defenses.  This is why cancer cells and pathogens are  selectively destroyed by properly administered ozone therapy without destruction to healthy tissue.

Excessive concentrations of ozone though can overwhelm the body’s antioxidant enzyme systems though leading to tissue destruction.  As mentioned earlier this is why the recommendation of maximizing ozone dosing is not only incorrect, but also dangerous.

It also needs to be kept in mind that the antioxidant enzymes taken as a supplement may be destroyed long before they could be absorbed unless they are enteric coated.

Since many people use ozone therapy personally at home there would not be a way for them to monitor the oxidative stress on red blood cells.  Even in a clinical setting where blood samples can be monitored for oxidative stress by the time the red blood cells are hemolyzed it is too late.  Therefore it is essential to use the proper concentration of ozone used in guidelines for ozone therapy set by over a hundred years of proper research and not just go for a “maximum ozone dosing” as recommended by Mr. Peirce.

Another issue with high dose ozone being overlooked by Mr. Peirce is that rapid destruction of cancer cells can not only lead to tissue damage, but also potentially kill the patient.  There are several reasons for this:

-The destruction of cancer cells leads to the formation of uric acid.  A sudden high uric acid load can lead to kidney damage as these sharp crystals get excreted through the kidneys where they can cut up the kidney tissue.  Other tissues in the local region of the destroyed tumor can also be damaged from the elevated uric acid.  This is especially dangerous in the case of brain tumors as the uric acid can inflame the brain tissue leading to dangerous brain swelling.  Since the brain is inside an inflexible skull there is no room for the expansion and the brain can suffer crushing damage if the brain swells too much within the skull.  To reduce these risks the cancer cells must be killed off little by little to allow time for clearance of the uric acid.  Drinking plenty of water throughout the day when using ozone therapy to help hydrolyze the uric acid in to safer urea can also help.

High dose ozone can further increase uric acid levels by hemolyzing red blood cells.  Hemolysis though does not occur when proper ozone levels are used, which are actually quite dilute when administered internally.

-The destruction of cancer cells leads to an increase of alkaline potassium released from the cancer cells as they are destroyed.  A sudden surge of potassium can create electrolyte imbalances that can impair heart function if cancer cells are destroyed too rapidly by higher than recommended ozone levels.

-In cases of brain tumors there is also danger of swelling if cancer cells are destroyed too quickly not only due to uric acid induced inflammation, but also due to the release of serum from dead cancer cells and the surge in potassium that can draw water in to the tissues by osmosis.  Again, this can be avoided by slowly destroying the cancer cells with the dilute doses of ozone used with internal ozone therapy rather than the dangerous “maximum ozone dosing” recommended by Mr. Peirce.

-The other risk is a dangerous infection condition known as sepsis.  Large tumors can be destroyed very easily with high dose ozone, but this is not a safe thing to do.  Dead cancer cells constitute infectious material to the body just like any other dead tissue in the body.  Of a person had a malignant tumor the size of a basketball it could be easily destroyed with a single ozone treatment using high concentrations of ozone. But the massive amount of dead cellular debris would kill the patient from sepsis.  Again, ozone therapy needs to be used in low concentrations, not “maximum ozone dosing”, to gradually kill the cancer cells.  And it is essential to allow time between treatments for the body to clear the dead cellular debris as well as the uric acid, and to allow time for the electrolytes to rebalance.  Using a shotgun approach of “maximum ozone dosing” could kill the patient.

Mr. Peirce then repeats the myth that alkaline salts are required to allow oxygen to enter the cancer cells.  This claim is based on the myth that cancer cells are totally anaerobic.  Cancer cells though are only partially anaerobic with the majority of energy for cancer cells being produced by an aerobic processes known as oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos).  In other words, oxygen not only readily enters cancer cells, but cancer cells are highly reliant on oxygen for energy production.  A low pH does not interfere with this process as Mr. Peirce claims.

Interestingly, Mr. Pierce later contradicts himself by admitting “hormone dependent cancers, sarcomas, and advanced cancers can also burn glucose oxidatively”.  This would be impossible if oxygen could not get in to cancer cells without alkaline salts as Mr. Pierce claimed previously.

Additionally, it is not only hormone dependent, sarcomas and advanced cancers that burn glucose oxidatively.  All malignant tumors including cancers in their earliest stages primarily burn glucose through OxPhos as studies have shown (13,14).

Next on Mr. Peirce’s list is an application failure.  In this case Mr. Peirce states “it is a mistake to not use ozone in high enough concentrations as well as causing irritation to the tissues or not using a humidifier”.

As previously mentioned though high concentrations of ozone are contradicted in internal ozone therapy due to the fact that high concentrations of ozone will damage the tissues and destroy red blood cells.  In addition, as pointed out in cases of cancer high concentrations of ozone can lead to tissue damage and possibly death.  The correct concentration of ozone used in internal therapies is  highly dilute, not concentrated as Mr. Peirce advises.  The recommended concentration of ozone for internal therapy is only around 0.1% ozone and 99.9% oxygen to prevent tissue damage and hemolysis.

This brings up another of Mr. Peirce’s contradictions.  Mr. Peirce keeps recommending high concentrations of ozone, which will cause tissue irritation and damage while at the same time claiming it is a mistake to cause tissue irritation with ozone.

The use of a humidifier in ozone therapy is controversial.  The humidification will result in a loss of some of the ozone as the ozone reacts with the moisture to form peroxides.  This may be helpful in the sense of reducing the damage that could occur from improperly using high concentrations of ozone.  Although, this also means that the person will not be able to properly gauge the level of ozone being administered for safety and effectiveness.  Imagine if your pharmacist was diluting down your medications with a random amount of water then telling you to take the same dose as would be normally recommended.  That would be ridiculous, yet this is the same principle as using a humidifier with ozone.  This is one of the reasons I don’t use humidifiers with ozone.  The second reason is because the mucus membranes and blood are already moist.  Therefore, if proper low concentrations of ozone are given in the first place the required moisture for oxidation will already be present in sufficient levels.

Another dangerous claim made by Mr. Peirce is at the end of his paragraph discussing inhaling ozone.  Mr. Peirce is correct that inhaling ozone is an irritant.  Mr. Peirce goes on to say though that inhaling ozone must be done at a lower concentration through a humidifier.  He also recommends doing slight exercise during the therapy and running the oxygen through the ozone generator at up to 6 liters per minute.  And finally Mr. Peirce states if the ozone causes a cough or irritation despite the humidifier to slow down the oxygen rate.  So what are the problems with these claims?

Well, first of all it is not recommended to inhale ozone for several reasons.  The lungs are more sensitive to ozone than other tissues and can be easily damaged by high levels of ozone.  In addition, ozone can trigger asthma attacks in those prone to asthma.

The most dangerous part of Mr. Peirce’s claim is that if a cough or irritation develops that you should slow down the oxygen rate.  The problem with doing this  is that this will significantly INCREASE the concentration of ozone increasing the risk of serious damage.  Ozone concentration is regulated by several factors such as voltage and discharge tube length.  The third factor is the flow rate of oxygen. The faster the flow rate the less contact time the oxygen has in the discharge tube and thus the lower the ozone concentration.  When you slow down the flow rate as Mr. Perice dangerously advises there is a greater contact time of the oxygen in the discharge tube, which increases the concentration of ozone. If you are developing a cough or irritation from the ozone concentration as it is showing damage occurring then why would anyone recommend increasing the concentration dangerously higher?!!!

Another issue not even mentioned by Mr. Peirce is that there are different methods of generating ozone and not all ozone units can utilize oxygen as a starter gas.  Using air with ultraviolet or hot corona systems also present a problem of the generation of nitrogen and sulfur based acids that can irritate or burn the tissues in the presence of moisture.

Anyone considering ozone therapy should research the subject thoroughly before initiating the therapy.  Thoroughly researching the subject is also recommended even if receiving ozone from a practitioner to make sure they understand the therapy and are administering the therapy properly for the particular condition.
Select References:

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