OxyFile #448

Ozone & The Immune System - Part 1 

A.J. Lanigan


When we discuss oxytherapies, it is important multifaceted in the 
effects. Yes, ozone kills or oxidizes most things it touches on 
contact. In the body, getting contact with the "bad guys" is the 
trick. Over the years, this trick has eluded most. To realize that 
the bi-products of ozone creates a cascade of events that go 
beyond the mere O3 molecule's intial work. One of the _most_ 
important bi-product "events" is its effect on the immune system. 
When I was in the 6th grade, I took a Health class. I learned in 
that class, that red blood cells carried oxygen, platelets helped 
the blood to clot & the white blood cells protected us from 
disease. To understand ozone's part in this matter, we must 
understand the immune system. Here we go: 

The Immune System - Nonspecific Defense Mechanisms 

I. NONSPECIFIC DEFENSE MECHANISMS 

Nonspecific defense mechanisms help prevent entry and spread of 
harmful microorganisms into the body. 

Employs defensive cells and chemicals that do not distinguish 
between infectious agents (unlike the immune response, which is 
very specific). Includes skin and mucous membranes, defensive 
white blood cells, the inflammatory response and antimicrobial 
proteins. 

A.The Skin and Mucous Membranes 
 1.The skin acts as a barrier preventing entry of pathogens, and 
   as a chemical barrier of anti-pathogen secretions. 
    i.In humans, oil and sweat gland secretions acidify the skin 
      (pH 3-5) and discourage microbial growth. 
   ii.The normal bacterial flora of the skin (adapted to the 
      acidity) may release acids and other metabolic wastes to 
      further inhibit pathogen growth. 
  iii.An enzyme in perspiration, tears, and saliva -- lysozyme -- 
      attacks many bacterial cell walls. 
   iv.In the digestive tract, stomach acid kills many bacteria. 
    v.In the respiratory tract, nostril hairs filter inhaled 
      particles and mucous traps microorganisms that are then 
      swept out of the upper respiratory tract by cilia. 

B.Phagocytes and Natural Killer Cells 
 1.Microbes that penetrate the skin encounter amoeboid white blood 
   cells capable of phagocytosis or cell lysis. 
 2.Macrophages wander through interstitial fluid phagocytosing 
   bacteria, viruses and cell debris. 
    i.Some reside permanently in an organ (are fixed in place). 
   ii.Develop from monocytes, which migrate from capillaries into 
      interstitial fluid.
 3.Neutrophils are cells that become phagocytic in infected 
   tissue. 
 4.Natural killer cells destroy the body's own infected cells, 
   especially those harboring viruses. 
    i.Also assault aberrant cells that could form tumors. 
   ii.Are not phagocytic, but attack the membrane, causing cell 
      lysis. 

C.The Inflammatory Response 
 1.The inflammatory response is triggered by damage to tissues
   caused by physical injury or by microbes. 
    i.Small blood vessels near the injured site dilate and become 
      leakier, causing the redness, heat and swelling associated 
      with infection. 
   ii.Migration of phagocytic white blood cells is enhanced. 
      Neutrophils arrive first, followed by monocytes that develop 
      into macrophages.
 2.Pus = dead cells and fluid leaked from capillaries. 
 3.Clotting proteins pass into the interstitial fluid to seal off 
   the infected area and begin the repair process. 
 4.Injured cells emit substances that aid in the inflammatory
   response. 
    i.Histamine induces dilation of neighboring blood vessels. 
   ii.Leukocytosis-inducing factor stimulates release of 
      neutrophils from bone marrow. 
 5.The inflammatory response may include systemic reactions. 
    i.Increase in number of circulating white blood cells. 
   ii.Pyrogens induce a moderate fever that may stimulate 
      phagocytosis and inhibit microbial growth. 

D.Antimicrobial Proteins 

A variety of proteins attack microbes directly or impede their 
reproduction. 

 1.Interferon 
    i.Interferon = A substance produced by virus infected cells 
      that helps other cells resist the virus. 
   ii.In one type of interferon, viruses contact mammalian cells, 
      turning on interferon genes. 
        a.Interferon is produced and diffuses to neighboring 
          cells, stimulating production of other anti-viral 
          proteins. 
        b.This defense is not virus-specific, but is host-
          specific. 
  iii.Interferons may act against cancer since some tumors may be 
      induced by viruses. 
        a.One type mobilizes natural killer cells, which destroy 
          tumor cells. 
        b.May change malignant cell membranes, making them less 
          likely to metastasize. 
        c.Mediates the inflammatory response by activating 
          macrophages. 
        d.Stimulates the immune response. 
   iv.One problem of interferon treatment is that it often gives 
      patients flu-like symptoms (chills and fevers). 
 2.Complement 
    i.Complement = A group of at least 20 proteins that interact 
      with other branches of the body's defense network. 
        a.Proteins circulate in the blood in inactive form. 
        b.Some activated proteins amplify the inflammatory 
          response by stimulating histamine release and attracting 
          phagocytes. 
        c.Some proteins coat invading microbes to facilitate 
          phagocytosis by macrophages (opsonization). 
        d.Some proteins aggregate to form a membrane attack 
          complex which inserts into foreign cell membranes 
          causing lysis. 


Now, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat as 
well as environmental factors have much to do with the "bad guys" 
we come into contact with. Being concious (not paranoid) of this 
will go a long way to assist the immune system. Ozone can 
certainly play an important part as a "preventive".