Does Ozone Therapy Improve Mitochondrial Function?

New Study

One of the key claims of ozone practitioners around the world is that systemic ozone therapy improves mitochondrial function. This newly published research paper concludes the following:

“These data demonstrate for the first time the beneficial effect of OHT (ozone high dose therapy) on mitochondrial parameters. Thus, the results of this study suggest that OHT could be a safe and effective therapeutic option alone or as integrative and complementary support for pharmacological therapy in a variety of chronic and acute diseases where mitochondrial dysfunction plays a central role.”

What is OHT?

Ozone high dose therapy, also known as ten pass is a clinic-based ozone therapy regime which takes 200ml of blood and mixes it with high dose medical ozone. The process is repeated ten times over the course of one to two hours. This is a different approach to other ozone therapy regimes which use the “start low go slow” method.


What are mitochondria?

Often referred to as the “powerhouse” of the living cell, mitochondria are well known for their role in converting energy we acquire from food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the energy currency of living cells. ATP captures chemical energy obtained from the breakdown of food molecules and releases it to fuel other cellular processes. So, generally speaking, the better our mitochondria function, the more fuel we have available to complete all the important tasks that our cells perform.

mitochondrial health

What other roles do mitochondria play?

  • Selecting when cells need to be destroyed or cleared away (apoptosis). Due to the fact that some diseases such as cancer involve the breakdown of apoptosis, it is believed that mitochondria play a role in these illnesses.
  • Storing and regulating calcium, which is vital to cell activity.
  • Immune regulation.
  • Stem cell regulation.

What happens when mitochondria cease functioning properly?

The most noticeable symptom of mitochondrial disfunction is the lack of energy available to the cell. This has different outcomes depending on the type of cell and how much energy it requires. For example, the heart muscle is particularly vulnerable as it has high energy use. This is what the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation has to say:

“Because mitochondria perform so many different functions in different tissues, there are literally hundreds of different mitochondrial diseases. […] because of the complex interplay between the hundreds of genes and cells that must cooperate to keep our metabolic machinery running smoothly.”

Who does this affect?

It is not surprising that many people wish to enhance their mitochondrial function, whether they are dealing with a particular disease or just interested in living a healthier life, such as bio-hackers and sportspeople.

Can ozone therapy help?

Clinical experience has long shown evidence that ozone therapy can boost mitochondrial function. The important role of Nrf2 induction by ozone in order to enhance the antioxidant systems has also been described recently. This is supported by evidence from in vitro trials such as this one, however there have not been many human trials which measure the before and after effects of ozone therapy.

Can you do ozone therapy at home?

The study we are discussing here was done in a clinic where blood is taken and the ozone mixed in. However, there are other methods of ozone administration which can be safely and effectively performed in the comfort of your own home. Thousands of people around the world claim that home ozone therapy benefits their health in various ways. Some perform it to support their healing from chronic illness such as cancer and immune issues. Others such as bio-hackers use it to as an overall systemic boost and athletes use ozone therapy to maximise their performance.


What does this latest study entail?

Six consecutive patients were selected who were all undergoing two OHT treatments within a week. Each agreed to undergo before and after blood screening to measure mitochondrial function using the bioenergetic health index (BHI). The results showed that five of the patients showed marked improvement in these markers. There is no data for the sixth participant in the study. More on that later.

Can we trust this study?

The results certainly look very promising and are in-keeping with previous results and clinical observations, however there are a few problems with this paper:

  1. Small sample size – usually we would like to see a sample size of at least 100. Also, the patients were selected, not randomised.
  2. One of the co-authors of this paper is Johann Lahodny, the pioneer and proponent of OHT, so it could be that he has a vested interest in showing good results.
  3. As mentioned earlier, we have a sample size of six but the results for only five of these patients are reported in the graphs. There is no explanation for this in the text.
  4. There was no control group.

What does all this mean?

In my opinion, this study is encouraging and a good basis for further work but cannot be considered to be definitive proof that OHT does improve mitochondrial function. However, given the weight of evidence which continues to accumulate, I believe it will only be a matter of time until this proven beyond doubt.