The intestine is one of the most important control centers of the human organism, in which capacity it performs three vital functions:
It protects the organism from invasion by intestinal pathogens.
It initiates and regulates the entire humoral and cell-mediated immune response.
It influences the colonization of the intestinal region by bacteria. This regulatory function is of central importance for the body's primary metabolism.
The intestine is an interface organ that plays an active role in defining the symbiontic relationship between the body and the living intestinal contents. Illness is the consequence of a disturbance in this symbiosis. One result of such a disturbance is the intoxication of the host organism by foreign microorganisms that are incapable of human symbiosis. To an increasing extent, these microorganisms include fungi. Owing to an impairment of hematogenic oxygen transport, this systemic intoxication causes a depletion of oxygen potential fixed in the tissue. Correction of this negative oxygen balance is the fundamental prerequisite for the restoration of an intact immunophysiological response. The skillful administration of ozone/oxygen therapy represents the only available therapeutic possibility for regenerating the depleted oxygen reserves. Administered in conjunction with suitable immune modulators, this therapy leads to an active elimination of foreign pathogens and thus to a complete healing of the chronic pathological processes.
Even today, some 5,000 years after the the first attempts of the human species to explore its own biology, the intestine is undisputedly still a great enigma. Professor Ludwig Demling, retired director of Erlangen University Hospital, calls the intestine "an unknown organ that has been criminally neglected by researchers". The time has come, says Demling, for a radical change in medical thinking about the intestinal system.1
The very fact that our intestine is called the "digestive tract" reveals the appalling lack of information about this organ, which peforms five major functions in addition to digestion. The five "cardinal functions" of the intestine are:
(1) The intestine is the central organ of the body's immune system.
(2) In its capacity as a bioreactor, the intestine carries out the process of "primary digestion".
(3) The intestine is responsible for the entire transport of substances from the intestinal lumen into the organism; it organizes the process of reabsorption.
(4) The intestine is the largest "waste removal" organ of the human body.
(5) The intestine plays a major role in regulating theacid-base balance.
These cardinal functions of this extremely important organ, which I also like to call the "root functions", delineate a broad spectrum which I cannot even begin to cover in this paper. For this reason, I have decided to focus on one point which is of crucial importance with respect to the development of therapy-resistant systemic diseases, namely the role played by the intestine as an immune organ. It is in this capacity, in particular, that the intestine not only acts as an interface influencing events around it, but also generates the immunological competence of the entire system.
Regeneration of of the immunological competence by restoration of the microbal system with support of ozone
In the complex struggle underway between the body and attacking bacteria, the intestinal immune system has been assigned the task of "fighting off" the pathogens in the strictest sense. In addition to this "civil defence" role, however, it has a second task to perform: namely, to regulate the colonization of the intestine by bacteria. Because it has a direct impact on the qualitative composition of the intestinal flora, the immunological integrity of the intestine determines the efficiency with which the intestine carries out its duties as a bioreactor. The results of the stool flora analyses I have been performing in my practice for 20 years demonstrate clearly that the intestinal immune system is able to distinguish between microorganisms that "fit into" the system and are capable of symbiosis and microorganisms that are "outsiders" to the system and incapable of symbiosis. Once it has identified the non-conforming microorganisms, the intact intestinal immune system will respond by secreting them.
On the basis of our current knowledge, we know that the local microflora conforming to the system, i. e. the autochthonous microflora, perform a number of functions of vital importance to the host organism. Since we are not yet able to provide a qualitative description of the enteric microcosmos of the species Homo sapiens, I intend to limit my remarks to a microbe whose role within the complex network of human symbiosis has been relatively well explored, namely non-pathogenic Escherichia coli. We now know that, among the human symbionts, this bacteria plays a dominant role. Moreover, information on the specific characteristics of E.coli with respect to the use of ozone to achieve immunological restoration is of central importance for the clarification of several apparent contradictions in this context.
The normal, i.e. non-pathogenic, form of E. coli can be found both in the lumen and on the wall of the large intestine. An observation of particular importance for the host organism is that this bacteria is capable of attaching itself to the intestinal wall via specific adhesion mechanisms2. This attachment consists of a particular sequence of events presupposing the existence of certain structures on the surface of the microbe as well as specific receptor structures on the epithelial cells or in the superimposed mucinous layer of the colon. The structures involved in this attachment are usually fimbriae on the coli bacteria and membrane-based glycoproteids on the epithelial cells. As a result of this coupling mechanism, a strain of E. coli is able to establish large colonies and thus dominate the micro-ecological terrain for a longer period of time. In this scenario, an important role is played by the affinity of the symbiotic coli strains to the oxygen diffused into the lumen of the intestine via the transepithelial route.
This is of vital importance for the host organism, since the symbiotic bacterial society performs three important functions on the local level:
(1) Coli bacteria pave the way for the further colonization of the intestine by manufacturing colicins, microcins and short-chain fatty acids3. These substances have the effect of counteracting any colonization of the terrain by pathogenic microbes, i.e. microbes alien to the system, and explain the specific Antibiotic function of our immune system. In any event, the establishment of this barrier against foreign microbes is one of the most important tasks of the autochthonous intestinal flora.
(2) Owing to their exceptionally high consumption of oxygen4,5, the coli cultures located in the intestinal wall create an anaerobic milieu which constitutes a hospitable climate for anaerobic bifidus and Bacteroides strains. The resulting "bacterial orchestra", which now consists of both aerobic and anaerobic microbes, regulates the energy balance in the intestinal mucosa. In this context, the production of acetic, propionate and butyric acids - as well as the L+ lactic acids produced primarily by the lactobacilli - is of particular importance. These end products of bacterial carbohydrate and protein degradation are easily absorbed by the cells of the mucosa via passive diffusion; according to studies conducted by Roediger, they supply around 40-50˙% of the energy requirements of the epithelial cells in the large intestine. The remaining energy required for metabolism is provided by the hexoses and amino acids delivered by the blood stream through the intestinal wall.
(3) The presence of a physiological coli flora is equally indispensable for the induction, via the intestinal immune system, of the humoral and cell-mediated immune response6.
In animals kept in a sterile environment, Peyer's patches and the abdominal lymph organs are significantly underdeveloped7. Conversely, the research team headed by Lodinov -Z dnikov in Prague has succeeded in stimulating the development of the intestinal immune system in newborns by implanting a non-pathogenic strain of E. coli at an early stage of the infants' development8. It has thus been demonstrated that the intestinal symbionts are not only of vital importance for the local immune barrier in the mucosa, but also for the entire humoral and cell-mediated immune response of the body.
Illness is the result of a disturbance in the symbiotic relationship between the human being and his or her micro-ecological partner system. Illness is not a state but a dynamic process that is directed at the functions typically performed by the intestine in its capacity as a root organ. Accordingly, illness is always the result of an auto-intoxication, a deficiency of vital substances, and an immune deficit. An observation that is of central importance, especially for the therapist working with oxygen-ozone methods, is that the disturbance of symbiosis described here obviously hinders the diffusion of oxygen in the capillaries. This impairment of gas exchange at oxygen's final metabolic destination results in a negative oxygen balance throughout the entire organism; in turn, this negative balance produces a rigidity of response which initiates and maintains the chronic nature of the illness. The depletion of the oxygen reserves in the tissues results in an over-acidification of the entire system; this explains why chronic illneses always affect the organism as a whole and are by no means limited to single organs or systems.
The objective of this therapy is to restore the micro-ecology of the intestinal tract; this is accomplished by eliminating those microorganisms that are alien to the system and/or incapable of symbiosis and replacing them with an autochthonous flora. The primary prerequisite for the success of the treatment is the regeneration of the oxygen reserves in the tissues by a long-term oxygen-ozone therapy applied rectally and parenterally in order to restore the immunophysiological reaction capability. It is usually urgently necessary to simultaneously correct deficiencies of vital substances such as magnesium, the Vitamin B complex or Vitamin C. These measures give the physiological strains of E. coli a colonization advantage, owing to their affinity to oxygen, and thus permit their implantation in the colon.
This therapeutically induced restoration of the microbial system via the mechanisms described above is invariably associated with an "eviction" of those intestinal residents which had previously colonized the terrain. In patients suffering from disease, these can only be systems incapable of symbiosis, i.e. pathogens in the classic sense of the word; these are now dislodged from the intestinal wall by the activities of the physiological coli flora. The result of this new scenario is the displacement of the pathogens into the intestinal lumen and their elimination with the feces. If bacteria incapable of symbiosis are demonstrated in a patient's stool in the course of treatment, this is considered unmistakable evidence of the restoration of the body's immunological competence and thus of the patient's reconvalescence. This will be illustrated by several examples.