Oxygenation Therapy: Unproven Treatments for Cancer and AIDS

Saul Green, Ph.D.
June 17, 2001

The cornerstone of oxygenation therapy is the presumption that human disease, including cancer, is caused by a deficit of tissue oxygen. According to proponents, hypoxia results in anaerobic fermentation, a loss of capacity for oxidative detoxification of toxins and metabolic products, and failure of immune killing of invading bacteria and viruses. To restore ability to carry out these functions, oxygenation promoters propose using chemicals they claim will release oxygen in tissue or act as germicides in vivo. Some of the claims are based on the concepts of William F. Koch (1885-1962) [1] and Otto Warburg (1883-1970) [2].

History of Oxygen Therapies

William F. Koch, a Detroit physician, theorized in 1919 that cancer was caused by a metabolic defect brought on by a single toxin produced by an injury or irritation. He proposed that toxins produced during metabolism and by bacteria were normally burned off during oxidation of carbohydrates. If the toxins persisted, they damaged the toxin-burning system and converted a normally present “harmless germ” into a virulent cancer-causing one. To cure cancer, Koch invented an “antitoxin to cancer” which he said was a mixture of an oxidizing catalyst he called glyoxylide (O=C=C=O) and a chemical called l:4 parabenzoquinone. A one-million-fold dilution [3] of this solution was given to patients by injection every six months, to “stimulate all the body’s oxidation reactions to cure the cancer and a host of other diseases.” Koch never revealed the process for the manufacture of glyoxylide, nor did he show it to exist.

Does Koch’s glyoxylide exist? The molecule glyoxylide has been a subject of investigation by chemists including H. Staudinger in 1913 [4] to Berson in 1986 [5]. Recently Sulzle [6] reviewed the literature and considered the theoretical possibilities for the existence of a compound like glyoxylide. He found that all efforts to prepare, isolate, or chemically identify this compound failed. His studies on the theoretical physical chemistry of glyoxylide showed that the substance described by Koch cannot exist in nature. This, along with Jenssen’s failure to find anything in Koch’s “medicine” [3], confirms the conclusion that the glyoxylide which Koch claims to have invented did not exist.

Otto Warburg professed that the cancer problem could be solved if one could identify a biochemical difference between the energy-producing systems of normal cells (controlled growth) and cancer cells (uncontrolled growth.) His research with tissue slices [7] led to the discovery of oxygen-transferring enzymes in cellular respiration, and for this he won a Nobel Prize (1931). In 1944 he won a second Nobel Prize for identifying the enzymes that transfer hydrogen in metabolism [8]. But his research never showed that oxygen use by normal and cancer cells was different. What he did find was that cancer cells produced lactate from glucose in the presence of oxygen whereas normal cells only produced lactate from glucose in the absence of oxygen. This observation led him to conclude that energy metabolism in cancer cells was defective [9].

By 1960, research had identified nearly all energy-producing metabolic pathways in both normal and cancer cells and showed that energy-producing systems in normal cells were the same as those found in cancer cells [10]. Despite this, Warburg insisted until his death in 1970 that the cause of cancer was “inferior” energy of anaerobic metabolism.

Oxygenation proponents follow the lines of Koch and of Warburg. They claim that toxins that adulterate processed foods, the environment, and medications damage the oxidative metabolism of normal cells which then regress into anaerobic metabolism in which an inferior energy is produced, resulting in cancer. Normal functions such as digestion, elimination, and immune function are also claimed to benefit from treatment with pure, all-natural, poison-free nutrients, vitamin and mineral supplements, and oxygen-yielding substances that restore and replenish the oxygen needed by tissues for burning off toxins. Hydrogen peroxide and ozone are the substances recommended [11-13].

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2 [14], was discovered in 1818. It is present in nature in trace amounts. Hydrogen peroxide is unstable, it decomposes violently when in direct contact with rough surfaces or traces of organic or particulate matter. Light, agitation, heating, or chemical substances like carbonates, proteins, chlorides, charcoal, and iron all accelerate the rate of hydrogen peroxide decomposition in solution. One volume of 30% hydrogen peroxide solution will yield 100 volumes of oxygen gas when it decomposes. At 30-35 %, so-called “food grade” hydrogen peroxide is caustic, producing severe skin burns. It can start a fire if allowed to dry on a combustible surface.

Among the earliest proponents of the use of hydrogen peroxide as a treatment for degenerative diseases like cancer was Father Richard Willhelm, [15]. In the 1940’s, while working with a microbiologist at the Mayo Clinic, he “learned that bacteria can gnaw at the joints, cause inflammatory arthritis, give off calcium waste that cements bones together, lodge in the liver and kidney and form stones, leave hard deposits on walls of arteries, short circuit the energy in the brain, cut off the blood supply to cells and cause a loss of oxidative metabolism.” [15] From Koch and Warburg’s work he heard that “cancer doesn’t like oxygen,” and because he knew that hydrogen peroxide gave off oxygen when it decomposed, he concluded that it should be used to treat diseases which were the result of “inadequate oxygen metabolism.” Willhelm referred to hydrogen peroxide as “God’s given immune system.” [15]

Willhelm met Walter Grotz, a retired US postal system employee, in 1982. When Grotz complained about the pain that his arthritic condition was causing, Willhelm suggested that each day for several weeks Grotz drink from l to 7 glasses of pure water to which a few drops of “food grade” 35% hydrogen peroxide had been added. Grotz said that doing this made him pain free, and he became Willhelms disciple. As a result of their travels, spreading word about peroxide, peroxide became popular for many other uses such as misting flowers, disinfecting aquariums, oxygenating garden soil, bathing pets, treating livestock and fowl, and washing vegetables and farm crops [16]. Most often however it was promoted as a treatment for human illness because, as Willhelm put it, “hydrogen peroxide joyfully relieves asthma, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, emphysema, cancer, the common cold, herpes, candidiasis, angina, malaria, gingivitis, tumors, warts, lupus, psoriasis, moles, amoebiasis and hemorrhoids.” [l6,17]

Proponents [11,12] also suggested that patients treat themselves at home by drinking hydrogen peroxide, using it for brushing their teeth, enemas, high colonics, or douches, soaking in a bath with it, or massaging it into the skin. Instructions for preparing the peroxide to be drunk are given in newsletters from “health food” companies that sell what is called “food grade” hydrogen peroxide [18]. One proponent states [18] that it takes one week to “clean out” both the “good and bad” flora in the stomach: “When hydrogen peroxide comes in contact with virus and streptococcus (the bad flora) in your stomach, it liberates free oxygen. If your stomach feels queasy after you drink the (peroxide) solution, the peroxide is seeking out and destroying virus and streptococci. The normal flora, the good ones, can then be replaced by eating plain yogurt and health food supplements that contain acidophilus, bifidus and bulgaricus.”

Proponents suggest that hydrogen peroxide can also be administered by soaking for 30 minutes each day in half a bathtub of water containing a pint of 35% “food grade” peroxide, by spraying a 3% solution of “food grade” hydrogen peroxide on ones body, massaging it into the skin three times a day, and by rubbing a gel containing 35% “food grade” hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and Aloe Vera into the skin [18]. Wilhelm describes a “do it yourself” recipe for making hydrogen peroxide pills for those who are unable to drink it. It calls for mixing baking soda and food grade 35% hydrogen peroxide, allowing the mixture to dry overnight and placing the pulverized powder into capsules. The patient takes three pills per day [11].

Another proponent proposes intravenous infusion of hydrogen peroxide as oxidative therapy [l3]. “There is no distinct class of patients that are [sic] best suited for intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy because of the wide variety of pathological conditions that improve from oxidative detoxification, the oxygenation of hypoxic tissues and the stimulation of the immune system that an intravenous infusion of hydrogen peroxide induces. Specific benefits are seen in patients with peripherovascular, cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases, arrhythmias, emphysema, asthma, cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, migraine, cluster and vascular headaches, allergies, and pain. There may even be a reversal of atherosclerosis due to the action of the peroxide on the lipid material in blood vessel walls” [13,19].

In directions for injecting hydrogen peroxide intravenously one is instructed to prepare 100 ml aliquots of sterile l5% hydrogen peroxide infusion solution made from 30% “food grade” hydrogen peroxide and sterile water to be stored frozen in sealed vials. For injection, the stock is diluted with 5% dextrose to give the final 0.075 % product [19].


Ozone was discovered and named by Schonbein in l839. It is formed when an electric spark or ultra-violet (UV) light splits an oxygen molecule into two highly reactive oxygen atoms. Each of these combines with intact oxygen to form the tri-atomic ozone, O3. Ozone is one of the most powerful natural oxidizing agents known because of the highly reactive free radicals it generates on decomposition. These free radicals can destroy many natural biological substances [20]. The discovery of inert plastics made ozones medical applications possible. In the late 1930’s, German doctors began to use it in experiments on patients who had a variety of infections and wounds [20-22]. Ozone gas might be bubbled directly into the patients blood, it might be bubbled into blood taken from the patient after which the blood would be re-infused, it might be bubbled into a solution to be used in an enema, colonic irrigation, or douche, or it might be pumped directly into the rectum. Except for situations in which ozone was used topically, the determination of effectiveness was depicted by patient testimonials.

When ozone is introduced into blood, it reacts with water in red cells producing hydrogen peroxide. This aqueous decomposition of ozone also produces bactericidal and membrane-damaging free radicals [21]. Ozone used for treatment [24] is prepared by creating an electric spark in a chamber of pure oxygen. The final mixture contains between 0.l and 5.0% ozone, concentrations that are equivalent to from l.0 ppm to 50 ppm ozone in pure oxygen.

Ozone generated this way has a half life of 45 minutes at room temperature, and under ideal conditions of sterility, dryness, and cleanliness, it must be prepared on site each time it is used. A two-hour exposure to 1200 ppm ozone is needed to kill microorganisms on open surfaces and in water [25]. Concentrations of ozone recommended are: for topical treatment of superficial wounds, 70 to 100 ppm; for slow-healing ulcers, between 40 and 70 ppm; and when oxygenating effects are needed to treat diseases associated with hypoxia, from l to 40 ppm [26].

Ozone has been proposed as a treatment for AIDS [24,27-29]. “Results of experiments indicate that medical ozone has the ability to inactivate extra-cellular HIV-l in serum-supplemented tissue culture fluids and to inhibit the growth of HIV-l at concentrations that are benign to cells in tissue culture.” However, HIV is susceptible to inactivation by many relatively innocuous compounds, and claims for benefiting AIDS patients are unconfirmed [ 26,30,31].

In 1993 testimony before Senator Harkin’s Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Ed McCabe, a promoter of ozone, stated, “644 German ozone therapists successfully treated 384,775 patients with 5,579,238 doses of ozone with no ill effects. Thousands of published medical papers contain proof of ozones effectiveness in vivo. Numerous US physicians have converted hundreds of AIDS patients from HIV sero-positive to HIV sero-negative status using ozone. Help is available to AIDS patients right now but the medical establishment is ignoring it.” [31] No evidence for the claims exist in reliable scientific literature.


Does anaerobic metabolism cause cancer?

In a 1961 monograph [10], Aisenberg reviewed and analyzed the subject of energy metabolism in normal and tumor tissues. He concluded that most carcinogens are not respiratory poisons; most respiratory poisons are not carcinogens; oxygen neither prevents nor inhibits cancer growth; tumor cells grow optimally in tissue culture dishes in atmosphere containing 20% oxygen; tumors grow rapidly in tissues that are well supplied with oxygenated blood; absence of oxygen does not stimulate tumor growth in vitro or in vivo; agents effective against cancer interfere with DNA synthesis, not with aerobic metabolism; tumors do not get a significant amount of their energy from anaerobic metabolism; tumors can and do produce energy by an oxygen-driven metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.

Since the mid 1960s, information amassed has identified cancer initiation, promotion, and progression. Alteration of genetic regulation through DNA damage, oncogene activation, and inhibitor dysregulation give rise to abnormally proliferating cancer cells. There is no evidence of “poisoning” in the respiratory enzyme systems of tumor tissues. Although Warburg discovered some differences in metabolism between normal and cancer cells, research did not bear out what he considered to be the “primary cause of cancer,” i.e., the replacement of respiration by fermentation.[7].

How much of an effect can “oxidative therapy” have in treatment of disease?

The transfer of atmospheric oxygen in the lungs to tissues involves oxygen transport from alveoli to hemoglobin in red cells to tissue cells for use in oxidative metabolism. When oxygen is used as a drug, its pharmacological properties must be defined so that the hazards that attend its use can be monitored [32]. Under normal circumstances, each breath of air taken at sea level has a volume of about 500ml. Slightly less than 20% of this is oxygen. The pressure of air at sea level is 760 mm of mercury (Hg), and the partial pressure of oxygen is about l60 mm Hg. When inspired air reaches the alveoli, it mixes with the gases already present. The partial pressure of oxygen in the alveolar sac is about 100 mm of Hg. Since the partial pressure of oxygen in the pulmonary arteries in the alveolar membranes is about 40 mm of Hg, the oxygen in the alveoli diffuses across the alveolar membrane and into the venous blood. There it is taken up by red cell hemoglobin [32].

Under normal conditions, hemoglobin in blood leaving the lungs is 98% saturated with oxygen. The hemoglobin in one liter of blood can carry about 200 ml of oxygen, and about 50 ml of this is extracted each time it passes through tissue capillaries. The metabolism of a normal 60 kg adult requires delivery of between 200 and 250 ml of oxygen each minute [32]. Since the amount of hydrogen peroxide that is infused into a patient during one “oxidative therapy” session, yields a total of 100 ml of oxygen per day, the treatment can make no significant contribution ones oxygen requirements [33].

Is hydrogen peroxide bactericidal and viricidal?

Phagocytosis is the principal mechanism for the removal of pathological bacteria and fungi [34]. Activated phagocytic cells are drawn to the site of infection, attach to the infectious organisms, and ingest them. The killing of the organisms takes place inside the phagocytic cell. Enzymes generate superoxide free radicals which are fused by superoxide dismutase to produce hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes cellular chloride in the cell to the killing chloride free radical.

Proponents of oxidative therapy propose that hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria because of their low levels of peroxide-destroying enzymes. But there is no evidence of oxygen intolerance in anaerobic organisms. Although proponents allude to a variety of antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-parasitic actions of hydrogen peroxide [13], they admit that no peroxide-related germicidal activity is found when hydrogen peroxide is infused into patients infected with a variety of organisms [19]. The absence of hydrogen peroxide bactericidal activity has been confirmed by independent investigators [35]. For instance, there is no bactericidal when hydrogen peroxide is infused into blood of rabbits infected with peroxide-sensitive E. coli.

Moreover, increasing the concentration of peroxide ex-vivo in rabbit or human blood containing E.coli produced no evidence of bactericidal activity. Lack of effect of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide was directly related to the presence of the peroxide-destroying enzyme, catalase. To have any effect, high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide would have to be in contact with the bacteria for significant periods of time. But the large amounts of hydrogen peroxide-destroying enzymes normally present in the blood makes it impossible for peroxide to exist in blood for more than a few seconds. One must conclude that hydrogen peroxide introduced into the blood stream by injection or infusion cannot act as a germicide in human blood.

Hydrogen peroxide does participate in the bactericidal processes within activated phagocyte cells. But when it escapes from the cells into the adjacent extra-cellular space during the inflammatory process, it becomes a major contributor to the tissue damage seen in lung disease, malignancies, and hemolysis. The presence of pharmacological concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in the blood is clearly a double-edged sword which can easily cause as much harm as it can cause good [36].

Can infused hydrogen peroxide raise blood oxygen levels?

Hemoglobin in red cells of arterial blood gives up about 25% of its oxygen when it passes through the tissues, so the hemoglobin of the venous blood leaving the tissues is oxygen-poor. When hydrogen peroxide is injected into venous blood, the oxygen released by the action of catalase is taken up by oxygen-poor hemoglobin. When this venous blood reaches the lungs, it is carrying more oxygenated-hemoglobin than normal. Less oxygen from inspired air is required to saturate it. When arterial blood leaves the lungs it is almost fully (98%) saturated with oxygen and so it becomes impossible for the intravenous infusion of hydrogen peroxide advocated by “oxygenation” proponents to further increase the amount of oxygen carried to the tissues.

The infusion of hydrogen peroxide into arterial blood is a completely different situation. A theoretical model [37] predicts the effects of an infusion of a hydrogen peroxide solution into arterial blood. Hemoglobin in arterial blood is already saturated with oxygen, so the oxygen released from hydrogen peroxide would not be taken up by hemoglobin. Therefore it would go into plasma. But the process of solution is slow, so undissolved oxygen gas could linger in the blood as bubbles for as long as 30 minutes. In the model, Johnson used 0.12% peroxide to produce a final level of 0.006 volumes peroxide per 100 ml in rabbit blood. Although this amount of hydrogen peroxide released 3.0 ml of oxygen gas in every 100 ml of arterial blood, most of the gas could be taken up by the small amount of unsaturated hemoglobin (2%) in the arterial blood. If however, the hydrogen peroxide content of the blood was doubled, 6.0 ml of oxygen gas would be generated per 100 ml of blood, and this could not be handled by available hemoglobin. Undissolved arterial oxygen would then create gas embolism. Consistent with this prediction for peroxide levels higher than 0.006 volumes percent, Johnson found that at 0.01 volumes 0.12% peroxide, oxygen gas embolism resulted in complete shut down of capillary blood flow in the treated rabbits. [37]

Can oxygen dissolved in the plasma support metabolic needs?

When little or no unsaturated hemoglobin is present,100 ml of plasma at100 mm of ambient (alveolar) oxygen pressure can hold 0.3 ml of oxygen in simple solution. This means that the total amount of oxygen that could be dissolved in all of the plasma in a 60 kg adult, would be about 20 ml. Since there is no physiologic mechanism by which oxygen dissolved in the plasma can be extracted, and since tissues require 200 to 250 ml of oxygen per minute [28], the 20 ml of oxygen dissolved in plasma can be of little use in relieving tissue hypoxia or for supporting aerobic energy metabolism [14,32,33].

Is ingestion or infusion of hydrogen peroxide safe?

At the end of his paper on how to infuse hydrogen peroxide intravenously, Farr cautions that the capacity of the lungs to allow gas embolism diffusion is limited. A continuous infusion of peroxide that results in 0.01 volume per 100 ml blood can cause an arterial gas embolism and irreversible lung damage [19]. That such adverse reactions do occur is clear from reports in the medical literature. These incidents include: oxygen gas emboli, necrosis and gangrene following peroxide enemas or colonic lavage [37-41,]; emphysema following peroxide mouth wash or gargle [42]; and ulcerative colitis, gas embolism, and emphysema following deep wound irrigation [43-45]. Peroxide ingestion results in respiratory arrest, seizures, gas embolism in the portal circulation, shock, and acute hemolysis. [46-48] Stroke and multiple cerebral infarcts [49] and venous embolism follow irrigation of anal fistula and irrigation of surgical wounds [20]. In contrast, the literature published by proponents of oxygenation therapy contain no report of adverse clinical incidents resulting from ingestion or infusion of hydrogen peroxide.

Is ozone effective against HIV?

In 1991, Wells et al [25] reported that gaseous ozone inactivated cell-free HIV-l in cell-free culture medium. Using escalating concentrations of ozone, they showed that a l200 ppm dose delivered into the solution for two hours, reduced the number of infectious viruses by about l011 and reduced detectable virions about 85%. However, there was also a significant reduction in infectivity after virus exposure to nitrogen. Other factors influencing the rate and degree of inactivation of HIV-I by ozone were protein and plasma components in the culture medium. (HIV is known to be inactivated by a host of relatively inactive substances.) While ozone might be useful in rendering commercial blood products free of infectious organisms, more extensive analyses of the HIV-I life cycle was needed before ozone’s usefulness as an in vivo anti-retroviral agent could be defined. Poiesz, Wells’ co-author, wrote, ” No further in vitro work has been done and to my knowledge no in vivo work has been done.” [50]

Carpendale and Freeberg [28] studied the effect of 4 ppm ozone on HIV-l suspensions in vitro. Ozone was rapidly degraded by serum components in the culture medium. They theorized that the virus inactivation must have been caused by unknown ozone reaction products. Reaction products of ozone and fatty acids called ozonides have been studied, and some are known to mimic the cellular effects of ozone [51,52]. But Carpendale et al did not report on the effects of ozonides on HIV in suspension.

Does autohemotherapy kill or inactivate HIV-I ?

Ozone has been used to treat infections for nearly 50 years. For the most part the treatments were based on impressions from uncontrolled anecdotal clinical experiences reported in German newspapers, magazines, and proponent newsletters. With the coming of the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s, some physicians offered ozone treatment. Organizations began promoting the medical use of ozone at international meetings. The majority of the papers presented at these meetings referred to the germicidal activity of high concentrations of ozone in vitro, but no convincing evidence was presented that autohemotherapy with ozone at concentrations ranging from 0.l to 5.0 ppm had an effect against HIV in AIDS patients.

In 1991, Garber et al [53] carried out the first well controlled clinical study of auto-hemotherapy for AIDS. These investigators first tested for safety in a Phase I trial and found no toxicity after 12 weeks of treatment. In the Phase II trial which followed, AIDS patients were entered into a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded program designed to compare the effects of unprocessed or ozone-enriched blood infused intermittently over a period of 8 weeks. All patients had CD-4 T-cell counts between 200-400 cells/ul. The results showed that ozonated blood produced no significant hematologic, biochemical, or clinical toxicological effects when compared with controls. CD-4 T-cell counts, interleukin 2, gamma interferon, beta-2 microglobulin , neopterin, and p-24 antigen were unaltered. These results have been replicated and confirmed by independent investigators [54].

In May 1995, the 12th World Congress of the International Ozone Association convened in Lille, France. Of the 42 papers presented, none addressed the effectiveness of autohemotherapy in the treatment of AIDS [55]. In August, 1995, Prof. V. Bocci, one of the organizers of that meeting, wrote:

My positon is based on theoretical grounds that ozone autohemotherapy may be useful only because there is no valid alternative. From a practical point of view I have great difficulty organizing clinical trials. I have frequently expressed my deep concern over the irresponsible, uncontrolled, and unscrupulous information that is being spread around. You must understand that I am not responsible for what is being done or said by people in the U.S. Personally, my interest is in investigating whether properly performed autohemotherapy can be useful for the treatment of chronic viral diseases and other pathologies. As of this time there is no evidence of its validity [56].

In reviewing the clinical histories of AIDS patients who were being treated with ozone, H. S. Fuessl, leading German AIDS specialist [57], states:

After observing ozone treated AIDS patients for long periods of time, we noted that patients who had just started on the ozone therapy showed some increases in CD-4 T-cell counts. But a few weeks later their CD-4 T-cell counts not only returned to their original low levels but in many cases went lower as the clinical picture clearly worsened. Two patients died before our eyes from opportunistic infections soon after beginning the ozone therapy. Those of us who treat HIV infected patients on a daily basis recognize that monitoring the changes of the CD-4 T-cell counts over a short period of time, does not accurately reflect the effect of the treatment or the prognosis of the patient. After following a number of AIDS patients that were receiving ozone therapy, I recognized that increases in the CD-4 T-cell counts could occur in any patient, at any time. But it did not mean that HIV was being killed or that the infection was being arrested. In spite of this knowledge, CD-4 T-cell counts are still the primary diagnostic and prognostic tools used by ozone therapists. (translated from the German by S. Green)

Is autohemotherapy approved by German medical authorities?

Autohemotherapy proponents refer to the widespread use of this treatment in Germany, implying that it is sanctioned by the German medical establishment. Dr. Barbara Burkhard of the Medical Office of Patients Insurance-Bavaria (Munich, Germany) writes, “Ozone therapy is not approved by the medical establishment in our country. The National Health Insurance (Gesetzliche Krankenversicherung) is not allowed to pay for it. In the book of laws on this subject (Sozial Gesetzbuch V), the obligations for insurance institutions are fixed. They are only required to pay for methods that are in accordance with generally accepted medical knowledge and which have made proven contributions in medicine. Doctors who have contracts with health insurance companies only get reimbursement for treatments that are approved by the Bundesausschub der Artz und Krankenkassen. This committee is governed by social insurance regulations and issues the rules for diagnostic and therapeutic medical methods. In an Appendix to their book of rules, methods not approved are listed. Ozone therapy is number 3 on that list.” [58]

Are there adverse effects of the use of autohemotherapy?

As of 8/14/1995, a search of the Medline, Health, AIDSline, and Cancerlit databases back to 1966 turned up more than 100 papers citing adverse effects in humans or in experimental animals caused by ozone or ozone reaction products. There were no references to papers in peer-reviewed medical journals that reported beneficial effects when ozone was used as a treatment for viral infections.

How are AIDS patients sold ozone autohemotherapy?

The idea that infusion of ozone-treated blood can cure AIDS patients is being marketed despite is lack of efficacy. This was clear from the testimony of Mr. Ed McCabe, before Senator Harkin’s subcommittee of the Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate, 1993 [31]. After accusing the medical establishment of intentionally ignoring an effective treatment for AIDS, McCabe declared that he had proof that help is available to AIDS patients right now and that thousands had been successfully treated. But McCabe did not give the Committee references by which his proof could be verified, and he did not identify any of the medical papers he said contained the evidence of autohemotherapy’s effectiveness. He showed no proof that US physicians had converted hundreds of AIDS patients from HIV positive to HIV negative status through autohemotherapy; he did not identify how, where, or when he interviewed the “644 German ozone therapists who successfully treated the 384,775 patients with 5,579,238 ozone treatments.” He did not provide evidence that autohemotherapy was clinically effective and resulted in long-term benefits.

Summary and Conclusion

Oxygenation therapists proposed that disease is caused by absence of oxygen and loss of cellular ability to use oxygen for “good energy” metabolism, detoxification, and immune system function. Oxygen therapies are proposed in order to restore the body’s ability to produce “good” energy, to “detoxify” metabolic poisons, and to kill invading organisms. However, over the five decades that have passed since this concept was proposed, scientists have shown that:

  1. Anerobic energy metabolism (fermentation) is not the cause of cancer.
  2. Koch’s glyoxylide does not exist.
  3. Ingestion, infusion, or injection of hydrogen peroxide cannot re-oxygenate the tissues of the body.
  4. Ozone-treated blood infused during autohemotherapy does not kill AIDS virus in vivo.
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  2. Warburg, Otto. Cell Physiologist, Biochemist and Eccentric-A Biography by Hans Krebs. Clarendon Press, Oxford. 1981.
  3. Jenssen, W.F. Analysis of Koch Medicines. Anal. Chemist. 50:197A:1978.
  4. Standinger H, Anthes E. Hypothetical molecule, ethendione. Ber Deutch Chem Ges 46:1426, 1913.
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About the Author

Dr. Green (1925-2007) was a biochemist who did cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center for 23 years. He consulted on scientific methodology and had a special interest in unproven methods. The original version of this article was published in the Spring/Summer 1998 issue of the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine.

This article was posted on June 17, 2001.