OxyFile #346

Medical Miracle or Health-Care Hoax?
Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide in Healing

by Nathaniel Altman

Although used by an estimated ten million patients in Europe since 
the early 1960's, the therapeutic use of medical ozone and 
hydrogen peroxide (technically known as "bio-oxidative therapies") 
is largely a mystery to North Americans. Hailed as a safe, 
effective and low-cost treatment for a wide spectrum of diseases- 
including candida, cancer, heart problems and HIV-related 
infections- in Europe, proponents feel that they can go far in 
resolving America's health care crisis. However, physicians who 
have tried to utilize these therapies in this country are often 
harassed by local medical societies and threatened with loss of 
license. As a result, every year hundreds of patients have been 
forced to seek out physicians in Germany, Russia and even Cuba 
where these therapies are an accepted part of the medical 
mainstream.. Others spend tens of thousands of dollars to receive 
bogus ozone cures from unlicensed practitioners here and abroad 
who ignore established protocols. Many end their lives in both 
poverty and despair.

What is the truth behind bio-oxidative therapies? Are they a 
panacea to our health-care crisis, or are ozone and hydrogen 
peroxide ineffective and even dangerous to health? And despite 
decades of clinical success, why are they considered 
"experimental" and not approved by the FDA? On the following 
pages, let's examine some of the major questions about bio-
oxidative therapies and their role in human health care picture.

Q: Exactly what are bio-oxidative therapies?
A: Bio-oxidative therapies involve administering small amounts of 
diluted ozone and hydrogen peroxide into the body for the 
prevention and treatment of disease. Ozone therapy has been used 
by licensed physicians in Germany since the early 1960's, while 
hydrogen peroxide therapy was developed in the United States 
primarily by Dr. C.H. Farr, nominee for the 1993 Nobel prize in 

Q; What is the scientific basis for bio-oxidative therapies?
A: The philosophy behind bio-oxidative therapies is a simple one. 
The use of hydrogen peroxide and ozone in medicine is based on the 
belief that the accumulation of toxins in the body is normally 
burnt up by the process of oxidation, a process wherein a 
substance is changed chemically because of the effect of oxygen on 
it. Oxidation breaks the toxins down into carbon dioxide and 
water, and eliminates them from the body. However, if the oxygen 
system of the body is weak or deficient (whether through lack of 
exercise, environ- mental pollution, poor diet, smoking, or 
improper breathing), our bodies cannot eliminate them adequately 
and a toxic reaction can occur. In minor cases, a toxic buildup 
can lead to fatigue, while a wide range of diseases can result 
when poor oxygenation is chronic.

Q: Are these considered "new" therapies?
A: Although few of us have ever heard of them, bio-oxidative 
therapies have been around for a long time. They have been used 
clinically by European physicians for over a century, and were 
first reported by Dr. T.H. Oliver in the British medical 
publication The Lancet in 1920.1 Since that time, they have been 
studied in major medical research centers throughout the world, 
including Baylor University, Yale University, The University of 
California (Los Angeles) and Harvard University in the United 
States, as well as in medical schools and laboratories in Great 
Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Canada, Japan and Cuba. Today, 
between fifty and one hundred scientific articles are published 
each month about the chemical and biological effects of ozone and 
hydrogen peroxide.

Q: How do they work?
A: Bio-oxidative therapies are used to provide the body with 
active forms of oxygen orally, intravenously or through the skin. 
Once in the body, the hydrogen peroxide or ozone breaks down into 
various oxygen subspecies which contact anaerobic viruses and 
microbes [i.e. viruses and microbes which have the ability to live 
without air], as well as diseased or deficient tissue cells. It 
oxidizes these cells while leaving the healthy cells alone. When 
the body becomes saturated with these special forms of oxygen, it 
reaches a state of purity wherein disease microorganisms are 
killed, while the underlying toxicity is oxidized and eliminated. 
According to Frank Shallenberger, M.D., who is best known in the 
United States for treating AIDS patients with a holistic protocol 
including ozone, bio- oxidative therapies have affect the human 
body in the following ways: 
1. They stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are 
   necessary to fight infection.
2. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are anti-virucidal.
3. They increase oxygen and hemoglobin disassociation, thus 
   increasing the delivery of oxygen from the blood to the cells.
4. Ozone and hydrogen peroxide are anti-neoplastic, which means 
   that they inhibit the growth of new tissues like tumors.
5. They oxidize and degrade petrochemicals.
6. They increase red blood cell membrane distensibility, thus 
   enhancing their flexibility and effectiveness.
7. Bio-oxidative therapies increase the production of interferon 
   and Tumor Necrosis Factor, which the body uses to fight 
   infections and cancers.
8. They increase the efficiency of the anti-oxidant enzyme system, 
   which scavenges excess free radicals in the body.
9. They accelerate the Citric Acid Cycle, which is the main cycle 
   for the liberation of energy from sugars. This then stimulates 
   basic metabolism. It also breaks down proteins, carbohydrates 
   and fats to be used as energy.
10. Bio-oxidative therapies increase tissue oxygenation, thus 
    bringing about patient improvement.2

Q: What exactly is hydrogen peroxide and how is it used 
A: Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is made up of two hydrogen atoms and 
two oxygen atoms. A powerful oxidizer, hydrogen peroxide kills 
bacteria, viruses and fungi; most of us have used a 3% solution of 
hydrogen peroxide externally to disinfect wounds. Higher 
concentrations of hydrogen peroxide are used extensively in the 
agricultural, food and chemical industries as a disinfectant, 
water purifier and bleaching agent. It is also a common ingredient 
in contact lens cleaners, eye drops and mouthwashes. Hydrogen 
peroxide is involved in all of life's vital processes, and must be 
present for the immune system to function properly. The cells in 
the body that fight infection (known as granulocytes) produce 
hydrogen peroxide as a first line of defense against invading 
organisms like parasites, viruses, bacteria and yeast. It is also 
required for the metabolism of protein, carbo-hydrates, fats, 
vitamins and minerals. As a hormonal regulator, hydrogen peroxide 
is necessary for the body's production of estrogen, progesterone 
and thyroxin; it also helps regulate blood sugar and the 
production of energy in cells. Hydrogen peroxide has long been 
used medically as a disinfectant, antiseptic and oxidizer, but has 
only recently been found to successfully treat a wide variety of 
human diseases with a minimum of harmful side effects. The most 
common form of hydrogen peroxide therapy used by doctors calls for 
small amounts of 30% reagent grade hydrogen peroxide added to 
purified water and administered as an intravenous drip. However, 
some individuals like to add a cup of 35% food grade hydrogen 
peroxide to a bathtub of warm water; the hydrogen peroxide is 
absorbed into the body through the skin while the person soaks in 
the tub. Others drink a glass of water to which several drops of 
food or reagent grade hydrogen peroxide have been added. Although 
there have been reports of improved health with this method, 
physicians like Dr. Farr believe that taking hydrogen peroxide 
orally can have a corrosive effect on the stomach and small 
intestine and advise against using it. 3

Q: What about ozone? How is it used medically?
A: Ozone (O3) is an energized form of oxygen with extra electrons. 
It forms the protective ozone layer around the planet, yet becomes 
a pollutant when mixed with hydrocarbons (like carbon dioxide) and 
nitrogen oxide from automobile and factory emissions. Because 
scientists have focussed on the negative effects of inhaled ozone, 
the medicinal aspects of the gas when applied intravenously or 
through the skin have been largely overlooked. Because ozone was 
found to be an effective bactericide and fungicide during the mid-
1800's, it was first used to purify drinking water in a number of 
European cities. Today, over 2000 municipalities around the world- 
including Montreal, Paris, Los Angeles and Moscow- purify their 
drinking water with ozone. However, ozone was not used medically 
until 1915, when it was found to be an effective disinfectant of 
wounds and skin diseases in Germany during the First World War. It 
was later found that ozone has the ability to "blast" holes 
through the membranes of viruses, yeasts, bacteria and abnormal 
tissue cells and therefore killing them. Ozone was the focus of 
considerable research in Germany during the 1930's where it was 
successfully used to treat patients suffering from inflammatory 
bowel disorders, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and chronic 
bacterial diarrhea. The four primary ways to administer medical 
ozone include:

1. Autohemotherapy, which involves removing about one half pint of 
blood from the patient, adding ozone and oxygen to the blood, and 
infusing the blood back to the patient.
2. Rectal insufflation, in which ozone and oxygen is administered 
as a rectal enema. The ozone/oxygen mixture is then absorbed 
through the large intestine.
3. Ozone "bagging", which involves having an airtight bag placed 
around the area to be treated. A mixture of ozone and oxygen is 
pumped into the bag and absorbed through the skin.
4. Ozone is also used externally in the form of ozonated olive or 
sunflower oil.

Q; What types of diseases can be treated with ozone and hydrogen 
A: Bio-oxidative therapies offer a tremendous range of medical 
application. According to the International Bio-Oxidative Medical 
Foundation (IBOMF), an Oklahoma-based organization devoted to 
research and education about these therapies, the following 
conditions or diseases have been treated with ozone and hydrogen 
peroxide with varying degrees of success:

Heart and Blood Vessel Diseases
Peripheral vascular disease (poor circulation)
Cerebral vascular disease (stroke and memory loss)
Cardiovascular disease (heart disease)
Coronary spasm (angina)
Cardioconversion (heart stopped)
Cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat)
Gangrene (of fingers and toes)
Raynaud's disease ("white finger")
Temporal arteritis (inflammation of the temporal artery)
Vascular and cluster headaches

Pulmonary Diseases
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Bronchiectasis (dilatation of bronchus or bronchi)
Pneumocystis carinii (PCP or AIDS-related pneumonia)
Chronic bronchitis

Infectious Diseases
Herpes zoster (shingles)
Herpes simplex (fever blister)
Systemic chronic candidiasis (candida)
Epstein-Barr virus (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
HIV-related infections
Acute and chronic viral infections
Chronic unresponsive bacterial infections
Parasitic infections

Immune Disorders
Multiple sclerosis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Diabetes mellitus Type II
Hypersensitive reactions (environmental and universal reactors)

Other Diseases
Parkinson's Disease
Alzheimer's Disease
Migraine headaches
Chronic pain syndromes (due to multiple causes)
Pain of metastatic carcinoma
Cancers of the blood and lymph nodes 4

Q: Is it true that ozone cures AIDS?
A: There is growing evidence that ozone (as well as hydrogen 
peroxide, since ozone becomes transformed into hydrogen peroxide 
in the body) can destroy lipid-enveloped viruses both outside and 
within the body, including those related to hepatitis, Epstein-
Barr, cancer, herpes, cytomegalovirus and HIV. The results of a 
study coordinated by the Canadian Armed Forces and published in 
the Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that ozone kills 
HIV, the hepatitis and herpes viruses, and other harmful agents in 
the blood used for transfusion. The author of the article added, 
"The systemic use of ozone in the treatment of AIDS could not only 
reduce the virus load, but also possibly revitalize the immune 
system." 5 Although a related study on AIDS patients proved 
inconclusive, Cmdr. Michael Shannon, MD, one of the coordinators 
of the study, wrote that "Of interest, however, the three patients 
(out of ten volunteers) who responded to minor autohemotherapy in 
the first trial, are still alive after four years post treatment, 
with CD4 counts in excess of two hundred. These patients should 
have theoretically succumbed to AIDS within a year post-
treatment."6 In several clinics in Germany, AIDS patients are 
being treated successfully with different types of ozone 
therapies, including rectal insufflation, ozone bagging, and 
autohemotherapy. Bio-oxidative therapies can be an important part 
of holistic treatment for HIV-related problems, including lower T-
cell counts, opportunistic infections, and AIDS-related diarrhea. 
Dan's was one such case. He was diagnosed HIV- positive and his T-
cell count had dropped below 600. After only one month of ozone 
therapy as part of a protocol including vitamin supplements, anti-
viral compounds and intestinal cleansing, his T-cell count rose to 
900 and his swollen lymph nodes shrank for the first time in 
years. Although there have been other cases of improvement of AIDS 
patients after regular ozone treatments (and several documented 
cases of people who were HIV+ reverting to HIV- status) ozone and 
hydrogen peroxide should not be considered as a "magic bullet" 
against HIV and AIDS. According to Frank Shallenberger, M.D. 
"Ozone therapy works in AIDS by acting as a an immune system 
modulator. In this capacity, it is very effective, safe, 
inexpensive and readily available. Proper therapy for AIDS will be 
directed at early intervention (i.e. CD4 count > 300), ozone plus 
other synergistic immune-augmented therapy, intestinal cleansing 
is paramount due to the immuno-suppressive aspect of parasites.7
Dr. Silvia Menendez, the co-founder of Cuba's Department of Ozone 
Department (part of the prestigious National Center for Scientific 
Research in Havana), suggested that ozone works best when 
administered as soon as possible after HIV infection, before the 
virus has penetrated the lymphatic system and bone marrow. The 
personal, economic and social ramifications of this possibility 
cannot be underestimated.

Q: Are these therapies safe?
A: Although ozone and hydrogen peroxide are highly toxic in their 
purified state, they have been found to be both safe and effective 
when diluted to therapeutic levels for medical use. When 
administered in prescribed amounts by a qualified practitioner, 
the chances of experiencing adverse reactions to bio- oxidative 
therapies are extremely small. For example, a German study on 
384,775 patients evaluating the adverse side effects of over five 
million medically-administered ozone treatments found that the 
rate of adverse side effects was only 0.0007 per application. This 
figure is far lower than any other type of medical therapy.8
It has been estimated that over ten million people (primarily in 
Germany, Russia and Cuba) have been given bio-oxidative therapies 
over the past seventy years to treat over fifty different 
diseases. As cited before, they include heart and blood vessel 
diseases, diseases of the lungs, infectious diseases, and immune-
related disorders. In some cases, bio-oxidative therapies are 
administered alone, while in others, they are used in addition to 
traditional medical procedures (such as surgery or chemotherapy) 
or as adjuncts to alternative health practices like megavitamin 
therapy, acupuncture or herbal medicine.

Q: If these therapies are so great, why aren't they used more 
widely in Canada and The USA?
A: Despite the fact that both ozone and hydrogen peroxide therapy 
have been proven in clinical trials (and in regular clinical 
practice) to be safe and effective in Germany, Austria, Cuba, 
Mexico, Italy and Russia, very few people have heard about bio-
oxidative therapies in the United States and Canada. Although an 
estimated 15,000 European practitioners legally use bio-oxidative 
therapies in their practices, the number of physicians using these 
therapies in North America is probably fewer than 500. This is 
partly due to the fact that information about medical ozone and 
hydrogen peroxide is not provided in medical schools, and students 
simply do not learn about them. In addition, the medical 
establishment (and especially provincial and state medical boards) 
often discourages or prevents licensed physicians from using them 
in their medical practice. Some, like Dr. Robert Atkins, M.D., the 
author of the popular book Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, have been 
threatened with having their licenses revoked if they administer 
hydrogen peroxide or ozone. Clinics have been closed down and 
practitioners have been threatened with jail.

Q: Why is there so much prejudice against these therapies by the 
medical establishment?
A: A major reason for this lack of interest in bio-oxidative 
therapies is that ozone and hydrogen peroxide are non-patentable 
substances that are very inexpensive to manufacture and use. In 
Germany, Russia and Cuba, physicians have successfully treated 
many serious and chronic conditions (including cancer and heart 
disease) without expensive surgery. The net cost of the materials 
for a treatment of autohemotherapy or a medical infusion of 
hydrogen peroxide is under $10. Even though physicians must 
include professional fees and the use of their offices and 
equipment, bio-oxidative therapies administered in a medical 
setting cost up to fifty percent less than traditional therapies, 
especially for patients suffering from chronic and degenerative 
diseases. Self-administered treatments by patients themselves, 
while not recommended, can cost far less. For these reasons, ozone 
and hydrogen peroxide pose a threat to the continued dominance of 
the medical establishment: the pharmaceutical industry, medical 
centers and physicians who are accustomed to providing expensive 
drugs, complex medical procedures and long hospital stays.

Q: But why don't agencies like the FDA and Health and Welfare 
Canada encourage clinical trials on these therapies?
A: Because government health agencies are often influenced by the 
pharmaceutical industry and medical lobbies, objective 
investigation and development of effective protocols for bio-
oxidative therapies have been difficult to undertake. However, the 
Canadian government has shown a greater willingness to investigate 
these therapies than American government agencies like the FDA or 
NIH, as shown by the HIV studies cited earlier. However, like the 
American press, the Canadian media largely ignored the important 
findings that ozone can completely remove HIV, hepatitis and 
herpes viruses from the blood supply.

Q: What is the future of bio-oxidative therapies?
A: After reviewing the laboratory and clinical evidence regarding 
the use of ozone and hydrogen peroxide, a recent report by the 
National Institutes of Health (NIH) on Alternative Medical Systems 
and Practices in the United States has recommended that 
"definitive studies be undertaken to determine whether these 
treatments have any utility".10 At the same time, a number of 
states- including New York and North Carolina- have recently 
passed "freedom of medicine" laws which allow the use of 
experimental therapies by licensed practitioners. Many physicians 
who are members of IBOMF from both Canada and the United States 
are sharing their clinical data with the goal of presenting their 
findings to government agencies like the NIH and FDA. Medical 
ozone and hydrogen peroxide form the "cutting edge" of a new 
healing paradigm, involving safe, effective, natural and less 
costly forms of medical therapy. As more people discover the value 
of these therapies, there will be greater consumer demand. Because 
bio-oxidative therapies like hydrogen peroxide and ozone hold 
great promise in treating both minor health problems and some of 
the most devastating diseases confronting humanity today, 
including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and HIV-related problems 
at low cost, they can help solve our national health care crisis. 
As more physicians become acquainted with the value of these 
therapies, they will become a valuable part of mainstream medical 

1 Oliver, T.H. and Murphy, D.V., "Influenzal Pneumonia: The 
Intravenous Use
of Hydrogen Peroxide", The Lancet, February 21, 1920, pp. 432-3.
2 Shallenberger, Frank, "Intravenous Ozone Therapy in HIV-related 
Disease" Proceedings: Fourth International Bio-Oxidative Medicine 
Conference, April 1993.
3 Farr, Charles H., letter to the author, February 4, 1994.
4 Shallenberger, Frank, letter to the author, December 9, 1993.
5 Oxidative Therapy, (Oklahoma City: IBOMF, n.d.)
6 Baggs, A.C., "Are Worry-Free Transfusions Just a Whiff of Ozone 
Away?" Canadian Medical Association Journal, (April 1, 1993) :1159
7 Shannon, Cmdr. Michael, letter to the author, 21 January, 1994.
8 Jacobs, Marie Theres, "Adverse Effects and Typical Complications 
in Ozone-Oxygen Therapy", Ozonachrichten, 1982: (1), pp. 193-201
9 Carpendale, M.T., Interview in Ozone and the Politics of 
Medicine (Vancouver, Threshold Film, 1993).
10 Alternative Medicine: Expanding Medical Horizons (Washington: 
U.S. Government Printing office, 1994)

Nathaniel Altman is the author over fifteen books on diet and 
health, including Oxygen Healing Therapies , which was published 
in April by Healing Arts Press, and distributed in Canada by Alive 
Books. [ISBN: 0-89281-527-2, illustrated, 201 pp., trade paper,