Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common and disabling condition where standard therapy produces very little results. It is known that patients with IBS have different gut bacteria (also known as Microbiome or Microbiota). It is postulated that the increased use of antibiotics and the increased consumption of chemicals in food and water can damage the bowel micro-organisms, leading to a pathological shift in the composition of the microbiota with the disappearance of useful micro-organisms and an increase in the harmful bacteria and yeasts. This is the rational for recommending probiotics for patients with IBS; unfortunately this is rarely successful in practice. It is the same reason why thrush is common after antibiotic courses.
Ozone therapy has been advocated by ozone therapists as a useful tool in the treatment of gut bacterial imbalance, however research evidence is almost non-existent. In 2018, researchers in a Russia state university (Dagestan State Medical University, Ministry of Health of Russia, Makhachkala, Russia) published their findings on this research question in a Russian journal “Modern Issues of Biomedicine”. The original article can be accessed from https://svbskfmba.ru/arkhiv-nomerov/2018-1/mallaeva
In this study 48 adults with IBS were randomised in to 2 groups. In the control group, 20 patients received 10 sessions of Interferential Therapy (a type of electrotherapy treatment similar to TENS) and in the the second group (28 people) additionally received drinking ozonized distilled water (150 ml, ozone concentration 5 mg/l) 3 times a day, 30 minutes before meals for 3 weeks and 8 rectal insufflations of 200 ml of ozone-oxygen mixture (ozone concentration 15 mg/l).
All patients at the beginning and end of the study had qualitative and quantitative analyses of the colon micro-organisms, radiological examination of the intestine with assessment of bowel movement and “transient” time, as well as IBS symptom questionnaire.
The study confirmed a significant improvement in intestinal microbiota in patients who received ozone therapy. The researchers explained the results by the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal effects of ozone therapy. The correction of microbiome abnormality was accompanied by normalization of large intestine movement and transient time as detected by X-ray studies.
This is the only randomised study we could find in literature addressing this topic, it certainly confirms the impression of many ozone therapists about the useful effects of ozone therapy on microbiota. It also opens the doors to attempting to heal IBS (and possibly SIBO: Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth) with ozone therapy.