Ozone Therapy: How Improving Oxygen Utilization Can Slow Down Aging and Degeneration
OCTOBER 2022 | Dr. Ashley Southern
It is a truth universally acknowledged that oxygen is the main source of life. Our planet needs it, our food sources need it, and our bodies need it. Oxygen fills our lungs, fuels our cells, and drives the most basic physiological functions we rely on to survive. Our bodies have evolved into oxygen-metabolizing machines – nearly every second our body takes in air and converts it into life.
As with every great machine, time and general “wear and tear” can have a huge impact on how smoothly it runs, and our bodies are no exception. Age-related conditions are primarily caused by decreased oxygen utilization; as we get older, our bodies become less efficient at processing and utilizing oxygen, which can impact our health and day-to-day functionality.
We know we cannot stop aging, so what can we do to ensure our bodies continue to utilize oxygen as optimally as possible? Fortunately, oxygen ozone therapy has proven to be an effective treatment to help improve the effects of aging-related degeneration.
Aging and Hypoxia
Biologically speaking, aging is a degenerative process that leads to cellular dysfunction, tissue breakdown, organ failure, and the general deterioration of vital physiological functions. Interestingly, the same symptoms can be seen when our cells don’t receive enough oxygen.
A sufficient concentration of oxygen is required by our cells in order to maintain the key biological activities we need to live. As we get older, that concentration of oxygen becomes imbalanced as our bodies become less efficient at metabolizing it. When oxygen demands exceed supply, oxygen levels throughout the body decrease. This lack of sufficient oxygen is known ashypoxia, and can lead to a metabolic crisis within the body that critically threatens the body’s homeostasis.
Signs of hypoxia include:
- Shortness of breath
- Exercise intolerance
- Sensitivity to cold
- Decreased body temperature
- Chronic disease
- Generalized pain
Effects of Hypoxia
Hypoxia contributes to the functional decline of cells and tissues as we age. Insufficient oxygen deprives cells of vital functions including repair, membrane polarization, and enzyme synthesis including the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes.
Our bodies contain hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha(HIF-1A), a protein responsible for regulating oxygen homeostasis and managing cellular responses to low oxygen levels. HIF-1A are linked to premature cell death, deterioration, and aging-related chronic diseases. As we age, HIF-IA accumulates in the nucleus of cells. These increased levels of HIF-1A interfere with the cellular signaling crucial for mitochondrial generation. This interference impairs energy-dependent cellular processes including cell proliferation and tissue repair (Yeo, 2019).
Hypoxia has been linked to the excessive production of free radicals. These free radicals are known to produce the pathologies that result in organ breakdown and degenerative diseases.
Hypoxia is known to exacerbate oxidative stress levels in the body, which occurs when there is an imbalance between the production and accumulation of oxygen reactive species (ROS) and the body’s ability to detoxify ROS (Pizzino, 2017). This imbalance is a known source of cellular degeneration and tissue damage. The accumulation of ROS, the oxidation of lipids and proteins, and mutations in the mitochondrial DNA, are all known to accelerate the body’s aging process by inducing deterioration of cellular energetics, destabilizing the cellular redox state, dysregulating calcium homeostasis, and interfering with cell signaling (Yeo, 2019).
How Can Ozonated Oxygen Help?
Research shows that ozone therapy is a safe and effective option for managing age-related degenerative conditions. Ozone therapy administers controlled levels of ozone into the blood, and its volatile nature causes it to react with the organic matter within the blood with proven beneficial results. Studies show ozone therapy is a beneficial alternative therapy that supports a wide variety of symptoms, including infected wounds, herniated tissue, pain management, circulatory disorders, geriatric conditions, macular degeneration, viral diseases, diabetes, rheumatism, arthritis, cancer, herpes, SARS, and AIDS. For hypoxic and ischemic syndromes, ozone therapy’s success has been attributed to its ability to modulate tissue oxygenation and may recover metabolic functions previously impacted by chronic diseases, particularly in older patients (Mendes, 2020).
Hypoxia is known to decrease the NAD/NADH ratio. This ratio is crucial in maintaining a balanced cellular redox state and plays a vital role in cellular energetics and mitochondrial function (Liana Roberts Stein,2013). Ozone is an effective therapy because it helps to normalize this ratio.
Oxygen and ozone therapy is an effective treatment for wound healing and vascular issues since it improves circulation, activates platelets, and encourages growth factors in the blood (Braidy, 2017). Ozone increases the production of nitric oxide (NO), adenosine, and prostaglandins, key factors in vasodilation processes. Degenerative diseases often cause an imbalance in the release of NO and O2, which can result in vasoconstriction and damage to the microvasculature system. Ozone therapy works to rebalance and restore the NO/O2 cycle, maintains homeostatic blood levels, and reduces inflammatory responses. Ozone also increases bilirubin, an enzyme that encourages blood flow, circulation, and smooth muscle proliferation.
Oxygen ozone treatment is known to repair the damaging effects of oxidative stress – it activates specific molecular pathways that work to upregulate endogenous antioxidant systems, activates immune functions, suppresses inflammatory processes, and induces cytokine production—a vital protein in cell signaling (Braidy, 2017). All of these systems play a crucial role in correcting oxidative stress. Studies show that repeated ozone applications resulted in the development of resistance to oxidative stress.
Ozone IV Therapy For Inflammation
O3 oxygen therapy stimulates antioxidant defense systems within the body. Increased antioxidant levels within the body are known to reduce the effects of oxidative stress and help the body combat infections, viruses, diseases, and inflammation, all key factors as we age.
Due to its hemodynamic nature, ozone therapy is known to have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. Oxidizing actions break down glycosaminoglycan chains within cells, which reduces the cell’s ability to retain water. This reduces the size of the area, which impacts the amount of inflammation and alleviates pressure built up within that area (de Sire, 2021).Ozone also stimulates fibroblastic activity, which helps to boost collagen deposits and initiates repair at tissue level. This makes ozone therapy effective at managing pain and improving functionality in patients.
Ozone Therapy and Oxygen Utilization as We Age
Ozone is proven to be an effective means of lessening the effects of aging. As we age, our bodies become less efficient at processing oxygen, which leads to increased inflammation, pain, susceptibility to infection and chronic diseases, cellular dysfunction, and the overall down-regulation of our system. Due to its ability to increase oxygen utilization, promote cellular health and generation, decrease inflammation, increase blood flow and vascular health, and enhance antioxidant processes, ozone therapy has been seen to counteract the tolls aging takes on our bodies.
While aging is a beautiful part of the human experience, there are steps we can take to optimize our health and quality of life as we get older. Ozone therapy is a beneficial and efficient option that can help ensure we are putting our best foot forward as we go through life.