What type of oxygen is best for ozone therapy?

When doing ozone therapy, you will need to have an oxygen source feeding into the ozone generator. This can be done in several different ways. You can use an oxygen concentrator, a medical oxygen tank, or an industrial oxygen tank. In this article we will examine why it is important to use a direct oxygen feed and why an ambient feed should never be used for ozone therapy. Ambient air generators are usually designed for ozonating and sterilizing water and for nothing more. If your ozone generator doesn’t have a direct oxygen feed and just pumps in ambient air, then you should not use that machine for any kind of insufflation, injection, or other modalities of ozone therapy.

Ambient Feeds

An ambient feed ozone generator is typically used to disinfect water and vegetables, as well as for cleaning the air. They are great for these purposes, but should be avoided for ozone therapy.

The main reason you would like to avoid using ambient air is because the two main components that make up our air are Nitrogen (78%) and Oxygen (21%). When you run ambient air through an ozone generator, it creates ozone with the 21% of oxygen available. This essentially means that it will be about 1/5th the strength of a purely oxygen-fed generator. It also creates nitric oxides which are an unwanted byproduct of the process.

Can’t nitric oxides be beneficial?

L-arginine is a supplement often taken by bodybuilders to produce nitric oxide in the body, because it increases blood flow by widening the blood vessels. Too much nitric oxide and you can experience side-effects such as blurred vision, confusion, dizziness, sweating, unusual tiredness and potential heart problems. An ambient air-fed ozone generator’s primary disadvantage is that you don’t know how much nitric oxide is being administered into your body.

This can lead to the side-effects mentioned above and even nitrogen narcosis if too much is consumed. If you used ambient air to create ozone and injected that ozone, you could potentially get an embolism from the nitrogen, which could be fatal. This is why you want an ozone generator fed by high quality oxygen when you’re doing ozone therapy, and why oxygen tanks are the only choice for injections.

There are a few options when it comes to choosing your oxygen source. I’ll cover the pros and cons of each below.


Oxygen Concentrators

One of the advantages of having a concentrator is you will not have to fill it up like a tank. It will actually collect the oxygen in the ambient air (~21%) and convert it into a concentration of around 85-94%. One of the main reasons you would want a concentrator over a tank and regulator would be when you are using a lot of oxygen for taking ozone saunas or ozonating oils. One thing to consider is the fact that these units provide lower concentrations of oxygen than a tank. Most doctors that specialize in ozone therapy will recommend not using concentrators as the oxygen source for insufflations or injections for this reason, though many people use them without incident.

Most ozone generators need low flow rates of oxygen to produce the optimal gamma rates, and this means many oxygen concentrators will not work without a pediatric flowmeter. Concentrators designed to be low flow do not have this problem. For higher output concentrators, the flow meter allows you to obtain lower flow rates most commonly used for ozone therapy (1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 LPM). It’s important to note if your concentrator has an output pressure above 6 psi. If it does, the external flowmeter will not work.

Breakdown: Concentrators are ideal for those who don’t want to refill tanks, need to run the oxygen over a longer period of time, and don’t plan to do any applications that require the best possible oxygen.


Oxygen Tanks and Regulators

The great thing about oxygen tanks is that compared to the start-up costs of buying a concentrator, a tank and regulator are relatively inexpensive. Also, because it provides a much higher purity of oxygen, you will be producing a slightly purer ozone (more oxygen = more ozone). Most doctors who do ozone therapy say it is especially important to use oxygen from a tank when doing insufflations and injections.

There are two different oxygen tanks and regulators available in the United States: CGA 870 and CGA 540 (industrial). A prescription is required for 870 tanks. Acquiring a prescription for oxygen from a physician can be hard for most people. Unless you already have a preexisting condition that requires it, most doctors are reluctant to prescribe oxygen for ozone therapy. This is why most people who use tanks as the oxygen source for ozone therapy will use the industrial option (CGA 540).

There are a lot of misconceptions about the difference between the two options. There is actually no difference in the quality of oxygen inside the tanks, because both are filled from the same tank of liquid oxygen (LOX). Liquid oxygen is the cleanest, purest, driest form of oxygen you can find. The only difference is that 870 tanks have to be completely traceable, therefore all medical cylinders have to have a lot number clearly visible on the cylinder and records need to be kept and maintained. All tanks (870 or 540) are vacuumed and cleaned before being filled, so there will be no impurities. An oxygen line filter can be used to filter out any potential contaminants if this is a concern.

Getting industrial oxygen is much easier and can be accomplished by contacting your local welding supply company. Simply search google for “welding supply company” and a map should pop up with locations in your area. I usually recommend contacting them by phone first to make sure they fill or sell industrial oxygen tanks. Sometimes these companies prefer to sell or rent their own tanks instead of filling aluminum tanks purchased elsewhere. It is important to determine your source and find out if you will need to buy their tank before getting one they won’t fill.

Most companies will measure the amount stored inside the tank, either by cubic feet or in liters. For instance, we have two industrial tank sizes. Our 255 Liter tank is nine cubic feet and the 640 Liter tank is about 24 cubic feet. For most people, a 255 Liter tank will last one to two months before needing to be refilled. Depending on the location, the price to fill a 255 Liter tank should be in the $10-20 range, but this can vary. The 640 tank will last longer and will cost a little more to be filled.

Regardless of the tank style, you will need a low flow regulator to get the flow rates you need for ozone therapy.

Breakdown: Oxygen tanks are ideal for those who need the purest possible ozone and are able to get tanks refilled locally.

If you have any questions about oxygen and ozone therapy, you can view our videos, send us an email, or call us at 888-742-3404.