Medical PMC journals as source? Example on "ozone therapy"


Gold Member
I am having a discussion with a friend who advocates "ozone therapy": re-injection of your blood after being enriched with ozone, done by a doctor. Since I am very skeptical of this fad (all I can see is that ozone destroys double bonds in carbon chains, which does not seem like a good thing-- for my friend, anything a doctor says is OK, is OK. I am not of that persuasion), I am trying to find appropriate objective scientific papers (not "healthline" websites) on it.

(Miles Power does some nice YouTube videos "Ozone Therapy Debunked", but YouTube is hardly a citation.)

I notice that all the scientific journals publishing online articles favourable to ozone therapy seem to be published in PMC (PubMed Central), which allows, among other things, OpenAccess journals, which of course include a lot of non-peer reviewed journals, which in their turn include a lot of pseudoscientific (often predatory) journals. The status of some of the journals is difficult to ascertain: for example, one is the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, which is a journal published in India; beyond that, I could find no references to it.

Of course, even non-peer reviewed journals can contain good sources, and there are e.g. PubMed citations in the references, but as I do not have access to them, I am unable to check whether the original article is misquoting or misinterpreting conclusions from the peer-reviewed sources.

Therefore, a question to those-in-the-know: can one rely on PMC journals?


Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Pubmed central is an archiving service, it is not a publisher itself. It’s like Web of Science, Scopus, Researchgate etc. Whether or not something is on there shouldn’t be a mark of validity.

Open access publishers conduct peer review as frequently as traditional publishers, a journal should be judged on its own merit rather than by whether or not it is open access (gold or green model) or conventional. In this case the journal doesn’t sound reputable at all given that it doesn’t have a peer review process.


Gold Member
Thanks, Ryan_m_b. Understood.
I think ozone treatments became popular when people used to think oxygen was good for you, even when we see what it does for cars. We produce energy in the body in a way not to dissimilar to lighting a fire, we oxidize fuel, and like fire it needs very careful control. Our body uses a number of chemical ways to contain the oxygen and prevent it “burning” the wrong things. Ozone (O3) is a particularly reactive form of oxygen and our bodies have difficulty containing its effects and it has been associated with a number of health problems, ozone in the air is considered a pollutant.. As a general rule when there are good reasons to think something is harmful and no obvious reason to use it, Drs are reluctant to carry our random testing. Its difficult to find good clinical trials of a lot of poisons which have no obvious benefit. Because it can damage cells it is used as a disinfectant and in human immune functioning reactive oxygen species are an important component in inducing cell death by apoptosis.
I did a quick search and rather like you I didn't find anything which seemed to qualify as good evidence for using ozone in therapy. There are lots of claims made, but as in most alternative therapies any single treatment that's claimed to cure multiple, disparate conditions is always a red flag. Its been investigated for around 50 years but even people who advocate its use accept it needs a lot more evidence.

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