I was recently asked if ozone therapy is scientifically valid. This is a great example of how difficult it is to answer a seemingly simple question. This difficulty is further exacerbated by a culture of alternative medicine that actively blurs the lines between science and pseudoscience and seeks to exploit the complexities and gray areas of clinical evidence.
The only way to answer this question is to say, “It depends.” The question you really need to ask is whether a particular type of ozone therapy is safe and effective for a particular indication. Asking whether high-pressure ozone is effective for healing skin ulcers is very different from asking whether autotransfusion of ozone is effective for fibromyalgia. However, often doctors operating outside of a science-based approach to medicine use narrow range of effect evidence to claim (without qualification) that a treatment is generally effective. . They may claim that acupuncture works or that homeopathy works, but those are nonsense statements. That’s the same as saying that surgery works or medicine works. However, there is no convincing evidence that acupuncture or homeopathy is effective for anything. So that’s one difference.
Ideally, you want to go deeper than just identifying treatment types and indications. Clinically, we also want to know the dose and duration of treatment, and whether there are patient demographics that would change the safety or effectiveness of treatment. For example, a clinically useful and scientifically valid statement is: A specific dose of ozonated oil applied at a specific frequency and over a defined period of time had a specific measurable beneficial effect on diabetic patients with specific infected skin ulcers. Severity range.
From a basic science perspective, we also want to know what the mechanism of action is. Although this is not necessary to establish clinical safety and efficacy, it may change the amount and quality of evidence needed to reach the standard for recommending treatment. If the putative mechanism (such as homeopathy) is magic, then the threshold should be very high. If the mechanism is plausible and has already been shown to have some biological effect, a more standard threshold can be used.
Let’s apply this approach to the broader problem of ozone therapy and break it down properly. Ozone is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms (O3). It exists in the upper atmosphere and its effect in blocking ultraviolet rays is important. Ozone can also be encountered when electrical equipment shorts out. That energy creates ozone from the oxygen in the atmosphere, and you’ve probably smelled it.
One of the potential biological effects of ozone is antibacterial. This is a highly reactive gas and can destroy bacterial cell membranes. This reaction releases oxygen, which can have further negative effects on anaerobic bacteria.This is what it looks like established effect of ozone. External skin infections are treated by exposing them to ozone. has been shown to be effective To promote wound healing. However, it should be noted that the FDA has not approved this use and further research is needed before specific recommendations can be made.
However, this specific effect cannot be used to support the efficacy of ozone therapy for other indications or other putative mechanisms. There may be other potential mechanisms of action, but they are hypothetical at this time. A frequently cited theory is that ozone exposure can cause a temporary upregulation of antioxidant enzymes. I find this putative mechanism particularly unconvincing, as the antioxidant hypothesis has been shown to be far more hype than reality. It is also often offered as a multi-purpose mechanism by medical practitioners to replace trendy treatments they wish to sell.
i) Increased oxygen levels, glucose and ATP transporter molecules in ischemic tissues. ii) Increase bone marrow stem cell activity to promote angiogenesis and tissue regeneration. iii) upregulation of the expression of antioxidant enzymes in the blood. iv) Promote the rise of the neuronal medium. v) Induction of growth factors
Again, we find that these underlying mechanisms frequently emerge to drive questionable treatments. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong or can’t be effective, but I think they’re generally overrated. Much of the basic science research that explores possible mechanisms of action falls into the “something happens” category. Cells, tissues, and organisms respond to stimuli, especially trauma. The immune system responds and compensatory homeostatic mechanisms kick in. This does not mean that they are mechanisms of meaningful or durable biological effect that can be exploited for clinical benefit. This is a huge leap forward, one that cannot be achieved automatically, and one that historically fails most often. Most of the putative mechanisms are either clinically meaningless or turn out to have more drawbacks than benefits.
In general, there is also a lot of a posteriori reasoning. Everything that happens can lead to potential benefits, including increased or decreased immune activity, increased or decreased oxygen, and increased or decreased blood flow. It’s okay.
At the moment The FDA says: About ozone therapy:
Ozone is a toxic gas with no known useful medical uses in specific, adjunctive, or preventive treatments. For ozone to be effective as a disinfectant, it must be present at much higher concentrations than can be safely tolerated by humans and animals.
That’s important. Even if there are potentially beneficial effects, we need to know whether those effects occur at doses and types of exposure that do not cause intolerable side effects.