By definition, the autoimmune diseases are the ones that attack our most precious ally, the immune system. So, instead of fighting against what is harmful to us, it makes them stronger. Based on genetic mutations that make the human body work differently from the most people’s, the autoimmune diseases are linked to the consequences of the inflammatory processes that affect various vital systems.
Purpose and treatment
If, in certain diseases, the purpose of ozone therapy is to boost the immune system, in the case of the auto immune ones its aim is to suppress it in order to decrease the diseases’ effect. The characteristic of ozone to increase or decrease the immune parameters, according to dosage and concentration, is called immunomodulating effect.
Practically, in the case of autoimmune diseases, large ozone concentrations are used systemically, through major autohemotransfusions (it is the only occasion in which high oncentrations of ozone are used for systemic administration. For the rest of the pathologies, only low concentrations are used in autohemotransfusions).
Ozone, after being degraded to peroxide, will “consume” the available antioxidants, glutathione included. The decrease of GSH inhibits the production of TNF-alpha, IL-1, IL-6, Gamma-interferon. Also, the quantity of IL-4, Il-10 increases. Therefore, Th2 lymphocytes are activated and the Th1 ones are decreased. As Th1 lymphocytes are responsible with cellular immunity, the majority of autoimmune diseases respond for the exacerbation of the condition by increasing the rate macrophages attack their own organism, through ozone therapy we can reduce their levels.
Through a similar mechanisms, the decrease of glutathione leads to the decrease of NFkB, that has the effect of inhibiting the production of cytokines and diminuation of inflammation.
A special chapter in treating autoimmune diseases is reserved to Multiple Sclerosis. In this case, the effects of ozone therapy proved to have been spectacular because the main mechanisms of the disease is Th1 lymphocytes attacking myelin. Thus, inflammatory lesions are produced, the demyelination of white matter and the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, like IL-1, gamma-interferon and TNF-alpha. All of these are decreased by ozone therapy.
In the stages of the exacerbation of the diseases there will be used high concentrations of ozone. In the remission stage however, the concentrations will be smaller to rebuild their antioxidant capacity. Thus, another way of ozone treatment’s action is reducing syncytin. As numerous studies showed, patients that suffer from multiple sclerosis produce a protein called syncytin, that damages astrocytes’ function (nervous system cells should repair lesions and maintain the hematoencephalic barrier) making them become true executioners that attack oligodendrocytes. Syncytin is vulnerable to the increase in quantity of antioxidants. In this case, the reduced concentration of ozone administrated through major autohemotherapy will lead to an increase in the quantity of antioxidants and, by default, decreasing syncytin and the protection of the nervous system.