Reader Commentary and Ted's Response on Hydrogen Peroxide
I really want to believe hydrogen peroxide (HP) is the miracle substance and the only reason why it hasn't been accepted by conventional medicine is due to the blocking powers and economic interests of pharmaceuticals and other industrial lobbies that would have no interest whatsoever in finding a cheap, easily available and non-patentable treatment to all sorts of medical conditions, and not because its principle of action may be flawed and its sides effects potentially serious.
I have been educating myself by reading scientific papers on oxidation processes and therapies (with HP or Ozone) and their effect on the human body. The reports from individual experiences were so positive and some of the defenders so hyped and excited about it that I really though we had found something truly remarkable. On top, the underlying principle seemed almost flawless at first: anaerobic virus and bacteria oxygen = death of bacteria and virus by oxidation. Conversely: aerobic human cells oxygen = thriving environment for the cells and improvement of the immune system and health in general resulting in delayed aging.
In fact, and as far as I understand it, it's a bit more complex than that. The HP that reaches the blood stream through oral or IV intake, changes in the presence of certain enzymes such as catalase. In the presence of this enzyme HP (H2O2) will break down into two molecules: one molecule of water (H2O) and a single atom of oxygen (singlet). The singlet, being a single atom, has an erratic and instable behaviour in the body, and will try to bind to anything it finds in its way, not only virus and bacteria. Hence the name free radical. When they try to bind with available compounds and molecules such as lipids, proteins and heavy metals they degenerate them by oxidation. These new compounds may also agglutinate with other molecules and continue the oxidation/degenerative process within the body. This is the reason why the body needs to take antioxidants (such as vit A, C, E, Selenium etc) to neutralise the effects of free radicals that result in degeneration and death of the cells and slowly lead to the development of diseases and aging.
Oxygen is necessary for life, but eventually we die due to the effects of oxygen by-products: basically we 'rust' away.
Some facts: it has been shown scientifically that intense physical exercise, such at that practised by competition athletes leads to the exponential creation of free radicals in the body, due to the high intake of oxygen through intense breathing. In fact it has been shown statisically that the longevity of intense sports athletes is shorter than that of the average individual not practicing intense physical exercise.
Yet, we all know that we feel re-energised and generally healthier when exercising, although the immediate feeling of energy results partially from an 'oxygen high'. There are a lot of positive effects in the body resulting from exercise/increased intake of oxygen, but one needs to realise that the sub-products of oxidative therapies are harmful to the body. So the secret is to take the right amount of oxygen and the right amount of anti-oxidants(generally the higher the better) to neutralise the effects of the free radicals.
As an example that the human body is in a delicate balance that should not be disturbed, and that the secret to prevent diseases is to respect that balance and take the optimal amount of supplements, take for instance thermal waters, some of the most famous thermal waters where people go to bathe ontain radioactive properties in it and yet it seems to be in the right measure, since it benefit the body rather than kill it. The same with HP and ozone therapies, they might actually be the holly grail of medical therapies and yet we need to know exactly what quantity to take either orally or IV in order to avoid oxidation effects and premature aging. It is unclear whether that balance has been found, since the side effects might not be felt immediately after intake of HP but only mid/long term. On the other hand, fighting and curing a serious disease definitely changes one's priorities, and in that situation maximum longevity might be less of a concern when compared with regaining health. But for those in generally good health, there is no reason why we should take substances that can potentially be counterproductive in the prevention of disease and in the fight against aging.
I hope that people that decide to take HP and other oxygen therapies do it based on a educated choice after having researched and pondered the pros and cons. That said, I use HP as much as possible topically and would seriously consider taking it orally or IV once more information and research is available regarding its side effects. CMSR.