How Does Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy Work?


Quick Answer

Hydrogen peroxide therapy introduces hydrogen peroxide into the body with the hopes that the oxygen released increases the effectiveness of the immune system. During hydrogen peroxide therapy, the substance is usually either injected or taken by mouth. More rarely, it is given in an enema, douche, ear-drops, nasal spray or by submersion.

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Full Answer

Hydrogen peroxide therapy is a type of oxygen therapy that is used as an alternative or complementary treatment for several conditions, including AIDS, arthritis, asthma and cancer. As of 2014, the effectiveness of the therapy has not been extensively tested, but preliminary studies have shown mixed results. According to the American Cancer Society, hydrogen peroxide in conjunction with radiation therapy helped a small number of patients in one study, but most studies show no improvement. A 2012 study by researchers at Meharry Medical College showed that a combination of vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide therapy slowed the growth of certain cancer cells in mice.

The FDA approves the 35 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide solution used in hydrogen peroxide therapy only for cleaning food preparation surfaces. Ulcerations of the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines may occur with oral ingestion. Injection of the solution occasionally produces air bubbles in the blood stream that reduce circulation, leading to gangrene or death.

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