It’s been quite some time since I last sat down and wrote a blog post on the subject of ozone therapy – an alternative treatment (aka something that has not been proven to work) in which proponents recommend exposing yourself to relatively large concentrations of this toxic gas. Those who recommend it believe that ozone has the ability to cure, amongst other things, cancer, AIDS, and multiple sclerosis – despite the fact there is no credible, peer reviewed evidence to support the use of ozone as a type of medical therapy. One such person is Rick Buck who, last year, published a video on his YouTube channel promoting the health benefits of ozone therapy, and who subsequently became the star of my last two blog posts and videos on the subject. As you can imagine, Rick was not very happy with my critique and went on to file a Copyright Infringement Notification (DMCA) in an attempt to remove one of my videos, claiming that I had deliberately humiliated him by sexualisation of his content.
YouTube did not agree and rejected his DMCA, stating that my content was protected by fair use. Normally, this would be enough to make me see red, and in the past I have been fairly aggressive to those like Rick who have abused the DMCA system, whether through ignorance or not. However, as I have previously said, Rick comes off in his videos as a nice guy who genuinely believes that ozone can help people with very serious conditions. The reality though, is that ozone does not have any magical properties and the advice Rick gives out towards the end of his video has the very real possibility of causing a terrific amount of damage to those who follow it.
Like so many people who peddle bullshit like its going out of fashion, Rick constantly contradicts himself and repeatedly warns the viewer about the very thing he is promoting. For example in his video he is both promoting the health benefits of inhaling ozone and then warns people not to inhale ozone. The reason why people like Rick do this is, in my opinion, because it somewhat protects them against legal action from those who may be harmed by following their advice. You can’t be sued if you warn people not to do the very thing you are promoting.
When Rick talks about his home set-up for generating ozonated water and oil, he mentions that he neutralised any excess ozone with activated carbon and switches on a kitchen fan when dealing with the substance. The reason he does this is to prevent a build up of ozone in the area because “ozone is know to irritate the lungs”. It is true that when inhaled, ozone will irritate the lungs by reacting with certain organic compounds which can cause, amongst other things, pulmonary oedema, which is fluid accumulation in the tissue and air spaces of the lungs. Be under no illusion, people have died as a result of trying these therapies yet, in the same video where Rick is warning about the dangers of inhaling ozone to the point where he recommends destroying any excess with activated carbon, we see him bubbling the gas through a dish full of water in order to wash fruit. Yes, he did say to do this in a well ventilated area with extraction, but in reality your kitchen is not equipped to remove sufficient quantities of the gas. As if that was not bad enough, later on Rick recommends breathing “oil filtered” ozone to kill “infection in the sinus”. WHAT EXACTLY IS HE FILTERING OUT?!!! I honestly had to watch this several times because of how little sense it makes.
Rick later uses this tactic again – this time mixed with ambiguous wording when talking about the famous inventor/physicist/engineer Nikola Tesla. He tells us that “Tesla, the famous scientist, would breath ozone all the time and he lived to a very old age for his day” before immediately doing a 180 and saying, “But let me be clear, I am not an advocate for breathing ozone every day”. The wording he used here, in my opinion, is another way of him protecting his arse, as it can be read in two different ways. He is either telling people not to breathe this stuff (despite the fact he just promoted breathing in “filtered” ozone), or telling people you can breathe it in – just not every day. Another example of him using ambiguous wording in his video is when he promotes intravenous injections of ozone.
It goes without saying that you should not recommend to the lay person injecting anything into their body, especially if, like in this instance, you are recommending they inject a toxic gas. Yet, in his video, Rick not only recommends people do it, but also shows them how to do it at home before ending with, “Medical professionals are normally the only ones who can give ozone this way”. Once again, we have ambiguous wording, which this time can either mean that only a doctor should do the procedure, or that you can try it at home for yourself. It should come as no surprise to most of you, but you should never inject yourself with any gas – especially if you are not qualified, as you run the risk of injecting it directly into a vein, causing an Embolism where this bubble of ozone can travel to your brain, heart, or lungs and cause a heart attack, stroke, or respiratory failure. Yes there probably isn’t enough gas in a 1ml syringe, which Rick showed in his video, to cause death, but after essentially promoting the layperson to try it themselves at home, he never tells them how much they should inject themselves with; nor does he warn about the very real potential dangers.
At this point, I would like to emphasise that ozone does not have the magical properties Rick claimed it has throughout his video. Nearly all of the outlandish claims he makes are accompanied by a scientific paper that, at first glance, may appear to back up his claims, however they all fall into two categories. They are either from poor or disreputable journals, or they deal with experiments performed in vitro. Although these in vitro studies are interesting and show that ozone may have some potentially useful properties, it does not necessarily mean that these properties can be implemented practically. For example, Rick says that ozonated water can be used with a water pick to fight disease and cavities, as we are shown the abstract to the paper ‘Efficacy of ozone on survival and permeability of oral microorganisms’. The paper shows that ozone is very efficient at killing oral microorganisms that have been removed from the mouth and placed into a Petri dish…but then again so is a Molotov cocktail. You would not recommend that people use Molotov cocktails to clean their teeth, so you should also not be recommending people use ozone based on this research.
One of the main reasons this blog post has taken so long to write is that I tried to track down someone who was featured in Rick’s video. The woman in question is called Alet and she claims to have cured her multiple sclerosis using ozone therapy in a clip that looks like it has been pulled from a news report. In reality, the idea is marketing for a company called Signature Health who sell some sort of ozone chamber. A product for which the company boasts about its two touch screen displays on the top, forgetting that this contraption encapsulates everything but the head – making it useless for the people using it.
They also sell boob cups…so yer….that’s a thing.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find out any information about Alet, but one thing is for sure. If Signature Health had found a way of curing MS, this video would not be confined to a testimonial page with less than 6,000 views.
I would like to end by stressing that Rick’s video is not an example of harmless quackery on YouTube, it’s a deceptive predatory pseudoscience video that has the real potential to harm, if not kill. It targets those who are suffering from cancer, AIDS, and MS claiming that they can cure all of their ailments by exposing themselves to a known toxic gas, despite the fact there is no credible peer-reviewed evidence that supports the use of ozone in this manner. Ozone is not, as Rick stated in his video, the “closest thing today we have to a miracle drug”, it is a chemical with known properties that, like Black Salve and MMS, will simply react with whatever it comes into contact with. This includes water, making it almost useless in the human body because it’s not going to last long. Rick is desperately trying to hide behind his ambiguous wording and constant contradictions, but at the end of the day, morally, if anyone attempts anything in his video and is hurt or, god forbid, killed, then it is his fault!
At this point you would think it was the end of the story, but the rabbit hole goes much deeper. Looking through my comments section, it appears that I have opened a Pandora’s box, and I was honestly surprised by the number of people who were singing the praises of ozone. One commenter really got my attention when he repeatedly told people that ozone can be used to cure cancer and that he had evidence of its beneficial properties. I asked for more information and was told that he worked for a company that has conducted research and have a product based on their findings. He willingly sent me a highly polished version of his companies data to critique, which I think he is soon going to regret. I don’t want to spoil anything for you yet in the blog post, but what I will say is that it involves chickens…