Dr. Mercola Interviews the Experts
This article is part of a weekly series in which Dr. Mercola interviews various experts on a variety of health issues. To see more expert interviews, click here.
In this interview, Dr. Thomas Levy, a board-certified cardiologist perhaps best known for his work with vitamin C, discusses nebulized hydrogen peroxide, which has become my favorite intervention for viral illnesses, including COVID-19. In his latest book, “Rapid Virus Recovery,” Levy details this treatment. Best of all, he’s giving the e-book away for free. The 321-page physical book will be available soon online. It’s also available in Spanish.
Levy has suffered with lifelong sinus problems and about a year and a half ago, while doing research for his book on magnesium, he came across nebulization with magnesium chloride, which sparked his interest.
As a result of his research, he began nebulizing with hydrogen peroxide and noticed “incredible changes in my health” almost immediately, including the reversal of his chronic sinus problems. So, after finishing his magnesium book, he took a deep dive into nebulization. “Rapid Virus Recovery” is the result of that journey.
“Just about the time the pandemic hit was when I really had my most compelling compilation of evidence for what nebulization with hydrogen peroxide can do,” he says. “And as I point out in the book, this is not just for common cold. It is for any respiratory virus.
I make the assertion — and I don’t generally make assertions that I can’t back up — that nobody needs to suffer with a cold or the flu again, unless you wait too long before nebulizing. Nevertheless, you’ll still recover much quicker after you do this.”
Levy also points out that if you can easily prevent or cure a viral infection, then vaccination becomes irrelevant. “Why vaccinate for a disease that you can prevent or easily cure after you have it?” he asks.
As for why he’s giving the book away for free, the answer is simple. “I want to stop this pandemic,” he says, “and nebulized hydrogen peroxide is not only simple to administer by yourself and universally effective, but it’s also inexpensive and readily available around the entire world, including in areas where other remedies such as vitamin C or ozone can be hard to come by.”
Early Treatment Virtually Eliminates Complications
Being able to treat yourself at home at the first signs of COVID-19 symptoms will also virtually eliminate your risk of long-haul syndrome. So far, medical doctors who have treated COVID-19 patients agree that if treatment begins early enough, patients almost always fully recover and have no longstanding side effects from the infection.
The reason for this is because the virus replicates wildly during the first few days of infection, and this is the time during which it can cause longstanding damage. So, it’s important to be prepared.
Buy the required supplies before you need them, so you have everything and can treat yourself at the first signs of symptoms. Most of the time, after two or three treatments, the infection will be stopped in its tracks. As noted by Levy, you get same-day resolution, which is almost unheard of in clinical medicine.
My personal experience with friends and family also mirrors these type of dramatic results. In all my years of practicing medicine, I have never seen such an effective intervention for the nearly immediate resolution of viral illnesses, so long as it’s implemented shortly after the symptoms start.
If you miss that early window and start developing more pronounced symptoms of influenza or COVID-19, nebulized peroxide is still an excellent adjunct to any other treatment you may be doing.
“I want to emphasize that because to the best of my knowledge, and I’ve done quite a bit of research on this, I see no circumstance in which hydrogen peroxide nebulization interferes with or lessens the impact of any other positive intervention,” Levy says.
One such intervention is vitamin C, which Levy describes as “the perfect physiological partner” with hydrogen peroxide, as they have powerful synergistic effects that facilitate rapid resolution of the infection.
Hydrogen Peroxide Is Part of Your Body’s Natural Defenses
Hydrogen peroxide is part of your body’s natural defense against pathogens and is found in virtually all cells. Your body requires it. It’s a powerful signaling molecule, and there are organelles in your cells that use it to kill pathogens directly. So, when you nebulize hydrogen peroxide, you’re really just augmenting your body’s natural defense system.
“One of the interesting things I found in the course of this research is that up to 5% of the oxygen you inhale gets incorporated into producing new hydrogen peroxide inside your body. Also, contrary to much scientific thought, except in the wrong microenvironment, hydrogen peroxide is very stable. It doesn’t do a lot of spontaneous breaking down or spontaneous oxidation.
So, it serves as an incredible storage form for oxygen to your body. That’s actually what sort of happens once you activate hydrogen peroxide, and there’s nothing in your body, pathological speaking, that oxygen is not good for.
This is what makes peroxide a perfect therapeutic agent. It not only kills pathogens extremely efficiently — virus, fungus, protozoa, bacteria, you name it — but it also leaves behind, as metabolic byproducts, water and oxygen.”
Once the infection is resolved, the water and oxygen will both help heal any tissue damage caused by the pathogen. The water will also help dilute the acidity introduced by the infection. “So, it’s very clear, at least to me, that the best way to refer to hydrogen peroxide is as nature’s naturally designed antibiotic,” Levy says.
How Hydrogen Peroxide Works
Hydrogen peroxide can impact a variety of beneficial pathways in your body, but in terms of pathogens, one of the most prominent ones appear to be through the Fenton reaction inside the pathogens and the infected host cells. As explained by Levy:
“The Fenton reaction1 is a way of getting hydrogen peroxide to break down into a hydroxyl radical, which is the most potent oxidizing agent known to science … In a nutshell, oxidation is disease, and limiting and reducing oxidation brings you back to health.
That might sound like an oversimplification, but not so much … When you want to kill a pathogen or kill an infected cell, you want to continue the influx and the power of that oxidative action until there’s so much oxidative stress that the cell ruptures and dies, or the pathogen ruptures.
So, you need unlimited supplies of vitamin C, unlimited supplies of iron, and unlimited supplies of peroxide. That’s the only way to keep the Fenton reaction going indefinitely until it does the task … This is why high-dose vitamin C given intravenously is so powerful …
It powerfully promotes the production of new hydrogen peroxide, which because of its small ionic nature is able to diffuse into the cell. At the same time, the vitamin C goes into the cell. It produces more peroxide that goes into the cell with it.
The third part of the equation the hydrogen peroxide works to mobilize iron from the storage forms inside the cell … Furthermore, the pathogens self-target themselves by actively accumulating iron in order to proliferate and make themselves iron-rich.
So, there you have all three components: electron donor, electron transfer, electron receiver … and this proceeds until you get complete resolution of the infection.”
Your primary pathogen-killing immune cells, macrophages, polymorphonuclear leukocytes and monocytes, also bring vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide in massive amounts to the site of inflammation or infection.
How to Prepare Your Nebulizing Solution
One of the most important parts of the treatment, however, is to make sure you have the equipment BEFORE you need it. So, if you haven’t already purchased your nebulizer supplies, please put that on your to-do list now. To be prepared for any eventuality, you’ll want to buy the following items so that you have them on hand:
- An electric, plug-in tabletop jet nebulizer (small battery-driven hand-held devices tend to be ineffective due to their reduced power)
- Food-grade hydrogen peroxide (which does not contain any harmful stabilizers)
- Normal saline (0.9%) solution (alternatively, you can easily make your own at home)
- Optional — 5% Lugol’s iodine (Dr. David Brownstein’s nebulized peroxide protocol includes one drop of iodine to the final peroxide solution)
The peroxide needs to be diluted with saline, not tap water or distilled water, as this could potentially inflame the mucosal cells. You need the salt in there. As noted by Levy, “The literature shows that water by itself does aggravate, or can cause, an irritating cough if you nebulize it by itself.”
I recommend diluting the peroxide down to 0.1%. Brownstein recommends using an ultralow dilution of 0.04% while Levy recommends 3% or less, depending on individual patient tolerance and how sick the patient already is.
If you don’t have access to saline, you could make your own by mixing one teaspoon of unprocessed salt (such as Himalayan salt, Celtic salt or Redmond’s real salt) into a pint of distilled water. This will give you a 0.9% saline solution, which is about the concentration found in body fluids. Using that saline, you will then dilute the hydrogen peroxide as described in this chart.
With regard to the dilution, Levy offers the following commentary:
“I don’t think there’s any evidence really that 0.04% nebulization as a monotherapy is going to get the job done. I want something that anybody on the planet can use to resolve without having to add vitamin C, without having to add iodine, without having availability of ozone.
And when you start taking the concentration down, you’re going to get less antipathogenic impact by definition. That, combined with the fact that for a year now, I’ve been getting an incredible amount of positive feedback. I’ve had no negative feedback. Most people use 3%. Some get too much tingling in the nose and they’ll go down to 1.5% or even 1%.
I think it’s a whole different thing as to what concentration you might want to use for the maintenance therapy that we’re talking about. But I think there’s no good reason at all not to take your first shot at 3% when you’re already having symptoms, or if you have a COVID-positive test.
I see no reason to dance lightly, especially in the fact that we have no negative feedback. Also, a recent article showed that people who routinely gargle with 3% peroxide show zero microscopic abnormalities in the tissue after a six-month period …
I never advise somebody to tolerate symptoms that they find uncomfortable. I always say, find a concentration of whatever you’re nebulizing that’s comfortable. But that said, I still think when you clearly have an infection, hit it hard the first few times, I don’t think you’re going to do any damage.”
Other Health Benefits of Nebulized Peroxide
Aside from fighting infections, nebulized peroxide also has other health benefits, including treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which is a common side effect of smoking, and emphysema. As noted by Levy, while it doesn’t necessarily repair the anatomy of your air sacs, it does address the chronic infections and mucus production caused by these conditions.
“I’ve had a lot of feedback from chronic lung patients that are pretty much ecstatic that they were able to incorporate this into their long-term medical treatment protocols,” Levy says.
Another interesting benefit of this therapy is its ability to improve your gut microbiome. Levy appears to have been the first one to discover and discuss this benefit:
“The first time I nebulized with, at that time, regular over-the-counter 3% peroxide, the next morning I had the most incredibly normal, well-formed bowel movement of my life. I said, ‘Good grief. What is going on here?’ The only thing I did different was the peroxide nebulization the day before, and that got me to thinking about how all disease is oxidation versus reduction.”
As noted by Levy, chronic infection is a primary source of toxins in the body for most people, be it from infected tonsils, teeth, gums or anything else, and this also affects your microbiome.
Nebulized hydrogen peroxide, by addressing these chronic infections, may therefore also help reestablish a healthier bacterial balance in your gut. Levy recounts how patients with chronic irritable bowel syndrome were able to reverse their condition in as little as one week of nebulization.
“I don’t want to oversimplify what’s going on in the gut,” he says. “I know it’s a very complex process, but bottom line is that what keeps any tissue in a state of ‘disease’ is increased pro-oxidant factors coming in and the degree to which you can stop those pro-oxidant factors.
With my bowel habits changing in less than 12 hours, that really tells me, intuitively, how readily a leaky gut can heal if you stop the 24/7 onslaught of new toxins and pathogens getting dumped into the gut …
I don’t think nebulization is directly putting a clinically significant amount of peroxide in and around the gut. Its primary role is killing the pathogens that chronically grow there in the nose and throat, preventing a continual swallowing of pro-oxidant pathogens and their associated toxins.
There’s a concept in my book called chronic pathogen colonization, where those bugs are covered with biofilms, and … peroxide destroys the biofilm quickly and then kills the pathogens underneath …
I think peroxide nebulization should be a routine part of any treatment protocol for any medical condition because of the positive impact it has on the microbiome and leaky gut, which makes any chronic disease you have worse.”
Hydrogen Peroxide for Periodontitis
A third benefit is its ability to address gum disease (periodontitis) and all the various health conditions associated with or worsened by it. As just one example, if you have severe asthma and advanced periodontitis, when your periodontitis flares, so will your asthma. Once you start to resolve the periodontitis, your asthma will typically improve as well.
“What’s unique about periodontitis is the nature of the pathogens,” Levy explains. “Often it’s caused by a bug called Porphyromonas gingivalis. They’re now finding this pathogen by advanced PCR testing to be present in many different tissues in the body, and to be present in tissues that are diseased.
They’ve identified it in Alzheimer’s tissue, in different neurological tissues. It’s been identified in the coronary artery linings of patients that have coronary artery disease …
That’s all coronary artery disease is — a chronic immune response that’s never extinguished because the seeding of bugs from the mouth is never extinguished … The reason smokers have such a high incidence of heart disease is because all of them have induced periodontitis that has the type of pathogen that metastasizes to the coronary artery lining.”
On a personal note, last year during a health checkup at SanoViv in Mexico, I learned I had periodontitis, which surprised me considering I don’t smoke and have a very healthy lifestyle. It goes to show how easily it can happen and, according to Levy, one of the reasons for this is depleted vitamin C stores. I was able to completely reverse it using ozone therapy, but as noted by Levy, the depleted vitamin C also needs to be addressed. He says:
“One main deficiency of things like ozone and other bio-oxidative therapies is they’re highly effective at killing the pathogen, but they’ve got nothing to do with restoring the antioxidant vitamin C status that resulted from the pathogen being present. All these viruses that we get acutely rapidly destroy our vitamin C stores.
Things like Ebola, where people die of hemorrhage, that’s really acute scurvy. In fact, it’s my opinion that long-haul COVID-19 is simply because of the fact that you so effectively nuked a large amount of your nutrients, especially vitamin C, that unless you undergo an accelerated plan of restitution, not a maintenance plan, but an accelerated plan of restitution, you’re never going to get back to baseline.
Same thing with periodontitis. Any dentist will tell you, they’ve never seen a smoker with normal gums. It just doesn’t occur. But the point is that smoke is metabolizing the vitamin C rapidly in the gums themselves.”
While you would get some benefit by nebulizing hydrogen peroxide through your mouth (i.e., breathing through your mouth rather than your nose), Levy recommends using a water irrigation (Waterpik™) device for this. Use warm water or warmed saline and add one-half to 1 or even 2 tablespoons of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide to the water tank.
“Those pathogens get knocked out quick. When you have advanced periodontitis, you no longer have the little peaks of gum tissue between the teeth. They’ve just resorbed completely.
But even in that type of gum, I’ve seen new gum grow in quite nicely in a couple of weeks. So basically, when you take the ongoing infective presence out of there, they will regenerate rapidly, especially if you’re not smoking while maintaining a good vitamin C intake.”
If you don’t have any chronic medical condition, Levy suggests nebulizing hydrogen peroxide two to three times a week for one to three minutes. If you have a chronic health condition, you’ll want to do it more frequently. For acute symptoms, you’ll typically want to nebulize for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
For more details, be sure to download Levy’s book, “Rapid Virus Recovery.” It’s a free download. Also be sure to share it with your friends, family and social networks. Nebulized hydrogen peroxide is a simple, inexpensive way to improve your health and safeguard against viral infections of all kinds, and anyone can use it.
“Send the link to as many people as possible,” Levy says. “That’s the whole reason for this book. I can’t imagine anybody being offended by the offer of a free book.”