Online publication only
The Principles and Practice of Integrative
Medicine, Volume 3: Dysoxygenosis and Oxystatic Therapies
by Majid Ali, MD
Canary Press, 140 West End Avenue, Suite 1H, New York, New York
10023 USA, www.canary21.com
Softcover; ©2004; $60; 319 pp.
In Volume 3 of his series The
Principles and Practice of Integrative Medicine, Majid Ali
addresses the role of oxygen in health and disease. This enlightening
and at times provocative text expands our understanding of oxidative
stress in disease.
The author takes us back to the beginning of his personal quest
when as a pathologist he was able to identify and have confirmed
several disease states in the colon of one man. It was here that
he parted with the accepted medical model of "one cause/one-disease/one
drug" for a model more suited to addressing the body as a whole
ecosystem. This approach allowed him to view organs as ecosystems
connected to other organ ecosystems through energetic-molecular
Critical to our understanding of the energetic-molecular events
in the body is recognizing the dichotomous role of oxygen. Ali refers
to oxygen as the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of human experience: on
the one hand it gives life; on the other, it is so toxic to the
human body it can take life away.
For an even greater understanding, he takes us into the history
of atmospheric oxygen on this planet. Of the three accepted eras,
the first was a period of oxygen-free primordial conditions that
produced anaerobic microbes. The second is an era when plants generated
oxygen concentrations to about 30% to 35%, causing the anaerobes
to hide or face extinction from oxygen toxicity. The species living
at that time would have to be considered huge by today’s standards.
The third era saw a drop in atmospheric oxygen to about 21% or lower
at present. And finally, the author adds a fourth era in which the
central issue is not the atmospheric oxygen but rather how the oxygen
is metabolized in the cells of humans and animals. He calls this
the era of functional oxygen deficits.
The term dysoxygenosis is introduced to describe the state of partial
or complete failure of oxygen utilization in cells. The oxygenization
deficits are caused by oxidative injury to enzyme pathways involved
in oxygen transport utilization, redox regulation, and acid-base
equilibrium. Ali's work led him to the conclusion that a state of
accelerated oxidative molecular injury is the core mechanism involved
in cell injury and disease. The stressors for oxidative stress are
those that threaten cellular oxygen metabolism and create the oxidative-dysoxygenative
states, such as antibiotic use, toxic metals, environmental pollutants,
anger, functional nutrient deficits, and more. A most interesting
addition to these factors though, is the discussion of primordial
life forms (PLF), or yeastlike organisms. These life forms can proliferate
in the body as a result of stressors and in turn become stressors
In what may be the most provocative part of this book, Ali introduces
another hypothesis for consideration. Called ORPCE for "oxidative
regression to primordial cellular ecology," this is a descriptor
for a state when progressive anoxia, acidosis, excess reactive species,
and cellular accumulation of certain organic acids create cellular
ecologic conditions that closely simulate the primordial state.
Once in this state, the body endures rapid multiplication of PLFs.
After identifying the stressors affecting oxygen homeostasis and
making the case that the dysfunctions can become magnified and self-perpetuating,
the author addresses the methods available to arrest these processes
and return the body to health. Those therapies that improve tissue
perfusion include EDTA chelation, ozone infusions, and hydrogen
peroxide infusions. These are discussed in detail, including the
dual nature of hydrogen peroxide and ozone that is known to trigger
oxidative stress but can also evoke the upregulation of antioxidant
enzyme systems. In fact, many therapies are introduced along with
clinical results of the author's treatment regimens. The doctor's
patients include those suffering from today's mystery illnesses:
chronic fatigue, chemical sensitivity, Gulf War Syndrome, fibromyalgia,
severe autoimmune disorders and malignant diseases.
This thumbnail sketch of this text surely fails to capture the massive
ground that is covered by the author. For one, he recounts his personal
journey of exploration into oxygen homeostasis and dysfunction and
supports his conclusions using the chemistry, research, and history
where, surprisingly, similar discoveries were made but abandoned.
He constructs a convincing case for others to make the leap into
a new model of medicine that will more accurately address the challenges
facing the health and viability of our population.
The mystery illnesses noted in this book, when taken together, are
beginning to represent a considerable segment of our population.
The current medical models have been inadequate to recognize, much
less treat and prevent these illnesses, as evidenced by the public
performance of committees set up to study Gulf War Syndrome. Their
befuddlement and subsequent dismissal of the thousands who are ill
was an apt illustration of the abject failure of the current medical
model. As the author makes clear in this book, the stressors on
oxygen homeostasis are going to increase. For the journey into the
new model that can address the illnesses more of us will face in
the future, Dr. Majid Ali has provided the path.