Are Rectal Insufflations 95% as Effective as Intravenous Ozone?
The pictures shows Renate Viebahn (right) and me during a workshop in Germany in, I believe, summer of 2016, where Mrs. Viebahn was doing a presentation about ozone therapy. Mrs. Viebahn is not a medical doctor. Her background is, as she told me, chemistry.
I don’t know how many times I have heard this phrase: “Rectal insufflations are 95% as effective as ozone IV” or “My doctor told me that rectal ozone is as good as the intravenous route” or some form of it.
The idea seems appealing: imagine not having to go to the doctor every time you need your ozone fix but instead being able to treat yourself in the comfort of your home. The treatment seems easy enough and requires only a few simple accessories.
Problem is that having done both treatments, rectal and IV ozone, extensively on myself I’ve always been very skeptical about this claim.
Ozone IVs would often give me an immediate sensation of calm well-being, boost my energy, resolve joint pain, put me in a good mood. All things which I would not see after RI or only to a much smaller degree. I’ve also never seen a study which would have demonstrated that that often heard claim was true.
And yet this idea keeps getting repeated over and over again. Many ozone doctors seem to have accepted it as fact and pass it on to their patients.
So, finally I wanted to find out where this notion comes from and how much truth there is behind it.
Here is what I’ve found:
Renate Viebahn – a German Ozone Expert
When researching the claim that rectal insufflations are supposed to be 95% as effective as intravenous ozone, one name keeps popping up repeatedly: Renate Viebahn.
She is the author of a number of books about ozone. Many of them don’t seem to be available anymore.
I own “Ozon-Sauerstoff-Therapie. Ein praktisches Handbuch” (“Ozone-oxygen therapy, a practical handbook”) from 2008.
There, Mrs. Viebahn writes the following on the topic of rectal insufflations (translated from German):
“… one can apply the following empirical formula: approximately triple the total ozone dosage per treatment for the rectal insufflation, that means, 3,000 mcg per treatment equate to 1,000 mcg ozone in the case of the Major Autohemotherapy”.
So she says that in order to get the same effect as one Major Autohemotherapy, one would have to use three times the dosage with rectal insufflations.
Meaning that one rectal insufflation is equivalent to around 1/3rd or around 30% of one Major Autohemotherapy.
Nowhere does she mention the number 95%.
And yet many websites refer to her when they claim those 95%.
Is it possible that she mentioned it in one of her other books? Possibly. But if so, it would have been strange if she said one thing in one book and something completely different in another.
But who knows?
Also: she doesn’t say what research the 1/3rd idea is based on. She only says it’s an “empirical formula”. But how was that formula created and by whom based on which observation? It’s not clear. So it may be that the real number is 5% or 10% or 50%. We don’t know.
Dr. Aubourg – the French Rectal Ozone Pioneer
Mrs. Renate Viebahn also refers to Dr. Aubourg when writing about rectal insufflations. Aubourg was a French physician who, as it seems, was one of the first who used rectal insufflations to treat patients. This was 1936. I found a text by Dr. Aubourg in yet another book “Das medizinische Ozon” by Hans H. Wolff. But even there, there is no mention of the 95% figure nor a mention of how much RI compare to the intravenous method at all. I think if Dr. Aubourg had mentioned that RI were as powerful as ozone IVs, I’m sure that other ozone experts would have picked it up as something worth mentioning. And yet, there is nothing on the topic in Wolff’s book.
Prof. Velio Boccis’ classic “Ozone – A New Medical Drug”
Renate Viebahn-Hänsler “Ozon-Sauerstoff-Therapie. Ein praktisches Handbuch”, translated: “Ozone-Oxygen Therapy. A practical Handbook”
Prof. Bocci and Rectal Insufflations
Then there is also Prof. Velio Bocci, one of the foremost ozone experts, or at least regarded as such by many contemporary ozone doctors. Prof. Bocci’s fame largely relies on his book “Ozone – A New Medical Drug” from 2005 which is considered by many as THE Ozone Bible par excellence.
There he writes:
“This […] would support the contention that the beneficial effect of RI in chronic limb ischaemia may be similar or equivalent to major AHT. If this result can be confirmed in a controlled, randomised clinical trial, it will be helpful for patients because they will be able to do automedication and avoid repeated venous punctures.”, p. 50, 51
So, what exactly does that mean?
He was essentially speculating that rectal insufflations COULD be similar or equivalent to intravenous ozone treatments. Nowhere was he claiming that this was an established fact. He was only proposing a theory.
He stresses a few times throughout the book that in order to find out if this theory was in fact correct, one would have to conduct randomized clinical trials.
“If, by an appropriate randomized clinical trial (RCT), we can prove that IR [sic] also has therapeutic activity in vascular disease, chronic hepatitis and intestinal diseases, we will have to promote RI, as the Cinderella of approaches, to the rank of AHT [Autohemotherapy].”, page 53.
Those, as far as I know, have never been performed. No randomized clinical trial exists which would compare RI with MAH (Major Autohemotherapy) in the treatment of any disease.
And nowhere does he mention the number 95% when comparing rectal to intravenous ozone.
This should actually put the whole 95% myth to rest. But instead it appears that his speculations were misunderstood and picked up as if they were fact. And that’s although Prof. Bocci repeats several times in his book the importance of performing tests in order to verify his hypothesis. But this seems to have been totally ignored.
Consequently, a few years later in 2013, he co-authored a document entitled “The rectal insufflation is not the best administration route of ozone”.
Could the message be any clearer?
“The rectal insufflation is not the best administration route”
In that paper Prof. Bocci listed the following factors which he says make the effect of the rectal administration so uncertain:
1. The remainder of feces in the colon, and other compounds with which he says the ozone would invariably react and be neutralized.
2. During rectal insufflation it can come to involuntary releases of the gas, so it is uncertain how much of the original dosage remains in the colon and consequently how much ozone can be absorbed.
3. Ozone is never absorbed by the mucosa but instead “immediately reacts with the lining fluid”.
He concludes by saying:
“the dose of ozone acting as a really effective prodrug remains uncertain and variable, and the procedure remains empirical.”
Translated: We don’t know how much of the ozone is really used in a therapeutical fashion. Neither during a single administration, nor in general.
So, there is absolutely not a shred of evidence to support the belief that rectal ozone administrations could be anywhere near 95% as effective as intravenous ozone therapy.
This, plus an ozone generator and oxygen source, is all you need in order to perform RI. Some do with even less than that. Go to this page to learn how to do rectal insufflations.
Should You Stop Doing RI?
But what does that mean for your situation? Should you stop putting ozone up your rear end?
First of all no, because we all need a little fun in our lives.
And second of all, you should not listen to a crazy ozone lady like me to find out what you should or should not do. This is something you should discuss with your doctor.
But does it mean that rectal insufflations are completely useless? No, absolutely not. There is actually reason to believe that they indeed do have a systemic treatment.
Best example is Brian. He’s been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and he’s been treating himself with rectal insufflations and has seen tremendous progress. So much that he has even got an ozone tattoo on his body.
All I’m saying is that there is simply no evidence to support the claim of the 95%. And it doesn’t really matter, in my opinion. Even if the real effect is 30%, as Renate Viebahn alleges, or 10 or 20%, what matters is if it helps. And as long as it helps, keep doing it!
But also be aware of possible side effects.
Further Considerations – The Gold Effect
Having sufficiently debunked this idea of the 95% claim, I ask myself: how is it possible then that something without any evidence is so widely believed?
I think it has to do with a phenomenon, which often occurs in medicine, both alternative and conventional, and which is best described by the following:
It’s the combination of an idea which makes sense on paper, in this case the fact that medication can be in fact absorbed by the colon walls and then transported via the portal vein into the liver and then into the blood stream, see the way suppositories work, add to it observations which seem to prove a systemic effect, and as a final touch throw in the endorsement of ozone experts, and what you get is the so-called Gold-Effect in all its glory.
Paraphrased: “The Gold effect is the phenomenon in which an idea is developed to the status of an accepted position within a professional body through the social process itself like conferences, committees, and consensus building, despite not being supported by conclusive evidence.”
If you’re still not convinced, and if you still believe that RI are indeed as good as ozone IVs, you may want to consider the following:
When looking at the statement “rectal insufflations are 95% as effective as the intravenous ozone” a few things should give you pause:
- The generalization of this statement. There are hundreds of different conditions one can treat with ozone therapy. Some doctors treat the same condition with different ozone methods. Different patients respond differently to the same ozone approach. So even with the same condition it’s impossible to say how effective the same ozone method is. So how could one make such a broad statement implying that rectal insufflations would be in general 95% as effective as ozone IVs?
- Which diseases does this pertain to? It’s unlikely that all the possible conditions ozone is used for have undergone comparative studies which would allow for such a wide reaching statement.
- But most of all: how would one measure effectiveness? In medicine, when talking about effectiveness one talks about outcome, results. So symptoms disappearing, pain diminishing, skin conditions resolving, ability to function on a day to day basis improving, being able to go back to work. The above 95% statement implies that such improvements have been observed and documented in patients with the same conditions over and over again. When and where and by whom was such a gargantuan task ever performed?
- Some people may think that measuring the ozone byproducts in the blood after Ri and after ozone IV and comparing them is a good measure of effectiveness. That may be true, but one would also have to compare the change in ozone byproducts and the change in symptoms of a given disease. Is there a sufficient strong correlation? We know that ozone therapy induces changes in a whole range of blood markers, but whether that’s what brings about healing or which one of those blood markers are responsible is not entirely clear yet.
Let me know what you think. Have I overlooked some information which does prove that rectal insufflations are indeed 95% as effective as intravenous ozone? If so, let me know.
Thank you for reading and for commenting!
Renate Viebahn-Hänsler “Ozon-Sauerstoff-Therapie. Ein praktisches Handbuch”
Prof. Velio Bocci “Ozone – A New Medical Drug”
Hans H. Wolff “Das medizinische Ozon”
“The rectal insufflation is not the best administration route of ozone.” https://dialnet.unirioja.es/descarga/articulo/4828945.pdf
“Rectal insufflations are a valid way in ozonetherapy”, Gregorio Martínez-Sánchez et al.
“OXYGEN-OZONE THERAPY IS AT A CROSS-ROAD”, Velio Bocci et al.
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