Naturally Rockford: Bubbling controversy: Hydrogen peroxide

What if the cure for cancer, AIDS, MS, Alzheimer’s disease, herpes, arthritis, and a host of other diseases lay in your bathroom cabinet? Some insist commercial hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), a known disinfectant, is a cure-all.

People ailed with incurable disease have sought out intravenous transfusions of .03 –35 percent hydrogen peroxide solution. The belief is sickness in the body is caused by lack of oxygen. As the hydrogen peroxide breaks down, it releases its extra oxygen molecule. This “oxidizes” the body, resulting in eradication of disease.

White blood cells create hydrogen peroxide as an attack method against invading cells. This creates oxidants, free radicals known to damage good and bad cells. Antioxidants and an enzyme called catalase protect good cells. Injecting hydrogen peroxide directly into the bloodstream results in an overload the body can’t handle, causing destruction of red blood cells (internal bleeding), cardiac arrest, and death. Tumors also are known to thrive in oxygen-rich environments. The gas produced by hydrogen peroxide may find its way into the heart, resulting in cardiac arrest. H2O2 is warned against for use in deep wounds for these reasons.

Some people try to ingest hydrogen peroxide instead of taking it through an IV. This doesn’t work. Even the typical diluted form from the store, with about 3 percent H2O2, will cause sore throat, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. Proponents of this treatment advocate queasiness felt after ingesting H2O2 is the process of ridding the body of toxin. It’s really the body’s reaction to a toxin.

The scariest thing about this so-called treatment is the risk factor when the amount taken is upped. People purchase hydrogen peroxide in 10-35 percent solutions, the industrial usages, from chemical plants. They are supposed to dilute this solution, but many don’t or mistake the odorless, clear liquid for water. Complications of this high ingestion include: ruptured viscus (internal organs), coma, seizures, and gas embolization (blood vessel or organ blocked by gas) with subsequent shock, cardiac arrest, and death.

This high concentration solution has resulted in burns and gangrene when in contact with skin. Inhaling low concentrations can lead to mild eye and respiratory irritation. Higher concentrations can cause severe mucus membrane irritation and inflammation, pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the lungs), and systemic poisoning with shock, coma and seizures.

Recent evidence points that H2O2 on the skin may harm new cells; caution is urged in any handling of this solution. Be wary of treatments promoting hydrogen peroxide as the answer to all that ails you.

Sources: and

From the Sept. 21-27, 2005, issue

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