Never let the facts get in the way of a good story slamming alternative medicine! That's what recently happened in the Minnesota newspaper The Star Tribune.
Just this month, the paper published an article titled, "Hydrogen Peroxide Fad Can Be Deadly." What's the "hydrogen peroxide fad" they are talking about? It's something that has been going on for over three decades.
Although there are absolutely no scientific studies showing it works, many people have been drinking various dilutions of hydrogen peroxide in the hopes it will make them healthy. I've talked with several patients who swear that it worked. But whether or not drinking hydrogen peroxide has any health benefits at all, the point I want to make has to do with how misleading the media can be about alternative therapies.
The article goes on to state, “It's meant to boost your health, but Minnesota doctors caution that the alternative health practice of drinking hydrogen peroxide can send you straight to an emergency room.” And then they go on to prove their case by stating that, “Six people in the past year have been treated at Hennepin County Medical Center for injuries after they drank a potent form of the compound, which is typically used as a bleaching agent and disinfectant.”
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The article then goes on to describe how dangerous it is to take hydrogen peroxide for medical reasons. Unfortunately, you have to read the whole article to find out that the six cases mentioned have nothing at all to do with the medical use of hydrogen peroxide. All of the cases were accidental poisonings in which people drank hydrogen peroxide thinking it was water. None of them happened as a result of people taking hydrogen peroxide according to the established protocol for medical use.
So, what about drinking hydrogen peroxide for medical reasons? Although the article quotes doctors who are convinced it's dangerous, the truth is that there have been no cases of poisoning using oral hydrogen peroxide according to established protocols.
That said, I still don't recommend it. While it's clearly not dangerous, there's very little chance that oral hydrogen peroxide is much more than a placebo. But that doesn't mean that other hydrogen peroxide therapies aren't effective. I've already reported in the past how I, along with many other doctors, have been using both nebulized and intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy very effectively for viral infections. You can find all that in the Second Opinion archives.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD