I was shocked the other day to read a report in MedPage Today about the use of MAH (major autohemotherapy) in the treatment of severe Coronavirus (aka COVID-19). It was a summary of the recent publication, “Potential Role of Oxygen–Ozone Therapy in Treatment of COVID-19 Pneumonia” in the American Journal of Case Reports.
We are daily barraged with editorials bashing the use of anything cheap, natural, or old for Coronavirus, while promoting forthcoming high-dollar untested therapies. If I sound at all skeptical of the novel therapies for the novel Coronavirus, it’s because hydroxychloroquine, convalescent plasma, and MAH all have a proven track record of safe use over a period of decades in tens of thousands of patients for a variety of medical conditions. By contrast, the latest wonder drugs have only been in development for a few years and have already been shown to have serious risks in the relatively few people who have taken them.
So I was bracing myself for ozone-bashing when I saw the headline, “Desperate Times for Pandemic Lead to... Ozone? Case study in three patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.” Early in the report, my suspicions were confirmed when I read, “Three patients present to a hospital emergency department… with severe COVID-19 pneumonia and respiratory failure and are given an unproven -- and possibly dangerous -- treatment: oxygen-ozone (O2-O3) therapy -- also called ozonated autohemotherapy.”
This was followed by the statement, “The FDA has called ozone "a toxic gas with no known useful medical application." Furthermore, in April 2020, a federal court entered a permanent injunction halting a purported "ozone therapy" center in Dallas from offering unproven treatments for COVID-19, after the company claimed that the treatments were able to "eradicate" the virus and were 95% effective in preventing the illness even for individuals who had tested positive.”
The claim may actually be true. I do not have firsthand knowledge to say it is or it isn't. The company's problem is not necessarily that its claim was inaccurate, but that it didn't have the government's permission to make the claim.
What surprised me was the detailed reporting of three cases of severe Coronavirus that followed. Instead of being placed on ventilators, each of them was treated with MAH twice daily. One was discharged from the hospital on day 3 and the other two on day 4. Their response to this “unproven” therapy was dramatic.
By contrast, one highly-touted novel drug is currently being studied to determine what percentage of treated patients are discharged from the hospital within 14 days. Imagine what a head-to-head comparison of the drug and ozone would look like!
Following the case reports was an in-depth analysis of all the various mechanisms by which ozone therapy does or might stimulate recovery from Coronavirus.
To clarify, I wasn’t surprised by the results. Ozone has helped many people transform their health, and has numerous papers published in medical journals demonstrating its safety, efficacy, and modes of action. What surprised me was that this report was actually published, considering the amount of censorship that is currently squashing all “alternative” treatments for the infection, no matter how successful they are.
The report concluded with the statement that MAH remains an unproven therapy and that the only way to prove it “is to conduct large controlled clinical trials to study the efficacy and safety compared with standard supportive care in terms of the need for invasive ventilation and length of stay in the hospital and ICU.” Fair enough.
I always like to read the physician comments after articles like this to develop a greater understanding and perspective on the topic than is provided by the authors. In this case, one doctor noted, “Sounds cheap and effective therefore will never be approved.” This is true, of course, because nothing gets approved in American medicine unless a pharmaceutical company pays the government for the approval. Because ozone is not a manmade creation, no company can patent it and therefore cash in on it. So approval will never happen.
Another doctor cited Dr. Robert Rowen’s report, “Rapid resolution of hemorrhagic fever (Ebola) in Sierra Leone with ozone therapy,” published in 2015. Dr. Rowen cured 4 of 4 patients with Ebola in 2-4 days using ozone therapy. Obviously this is not a large study, but it’s pretty impressive considering that Ebola has an average death rate of 50%.
During my own training in ozone therapy, I learned about Dr. Rowen’s mission to Africa, including the termination of his efforts by government authorities. It didn’t make sense to me that any government would want to shut down a doctor who was volunteering his time, money, and expertise to cure a disease that had no known cure. But this is what they did. They forbade him from providing further treatments. Maybe you can figure it out.
The bottom line is this: Anyone who wants to be admitted to the ICU and put on a ventilator—which, by the way, has also not been proven effective in the treatment of Coronavirus—is welcome to do so. In the extremely unlikely event that I were to contract the disease, I will go to the office (practicing social distancing, of course) for ozone therapy twice a day instead, so I can get back on my mountain bike as soon as possible.
Whereas government agencies prohibit doctors from making claims about anything that isn’t an approved drug curing any disease, what I can say is that we in the integrative medicine field have been treating a wide variety of health conditions with ozone for decades. When patients get better, they don’t seem too concerned about whether the therapy is proven or approved or not. Their goal isn’t to try the latest approved drug. Their goal is to get back to living life. And they do.