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I recently was recommended a product for gut health/constipation that actually works quite well - the product names of the main distributors are OxyPowder and Homozon. Despite the product working really well both of the sites make a bunch of wild claims about how this product is and the history of it. The story is pretty wacky and originates from one of these old timey doctors back in the late 1800s when they were trying a bunch of weird stuff for medical conditions.

The ingredients on these products say only "Ozonated magnesium oxides" and the ones that come in capsule form come with citric acid, and powders say to also eat citric acid or something sour. This is the other tip off to me this is not just magnesium oxide, and I can tell its effect is much different than magnesium oxide.

I have seen a few similar products refer to this as "magnesium peroxide" but I don't know if that is right either. In one of the descriptions the "chemical formula" is claimed to be "2(MgO3)2" - I don't know much about chemistry to say if this is right but with the O3 in there that wouldn't be Magnesium Peroxide. I know that Magnesium Ozonide on its own is unstable.

A claim by the manufacturer "he knockoffs of Homozon don't use the special pharmaceutical grade magnesium, and they only bond oxygen, not ozone, to the magnesium. Bonding ozone to a powder (a gas to a solid) is a trade secret process, that's why no one else has the same high quality product. " They also claim they've done tests that can prove that whatever reaction is happening is releasing oxygen over 8 hours or so.

I tried to search patents but I can't find anything about this. Given that this all started in the in the old days an this is a small lab producing this it's hard for me to believe that there is some secret method used by a wacky doctor in the late 1800s.

Some of the research there lead to an older German product called Hämozon, which does make reference to "Magnesium superoxide" and MgO2, but supposedly the formula has since been expanded upon.

Any ideas?

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The one well-established magnesium oxide at ambient conditions, apart from $\ce{MgO}$, is the peroxide $\ce{MgO2}$. Usually this is synthesized by deprotonating hydrogen peroxide with $\ce{MgO}$, but ozone would be a strong enough oxidizing agent to oxidize $\ce{MgO}$ to $\ce{MgO2}$. There is actually evidence of ozone even forming a superoxide $\ce{Mg(O2)2}$ [1], but most likely in the commercial product the ozone oxidizes the magnesium oxide to $\ce{MgO2}$.

Magnesium peroxide, like many metal peroxides, can release oxygen when acid is added. Thus the recommendation to add citric acid is to promote oxygen release, as opposed to any inherent difference in basicity as such.

Reference

  1. Vol'nov, I.I., Tokareva, S.A., Belevskii, V.N. et al. "The formation of magnesium perperoxide Mg(O2)2 in the reaction of magnesium peroxide with ozone" Russ Chem Bull 19, 468–471 (1970). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00848959.
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    $\begingroup$ We also do have magnesium ozonide ;) (cc @V_H) $\endgroup$ Aug 21, 2022 at 4:57
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    $\begingroup$ Added ambient conditions, whic specifically favor MgO2. $\endgroup$ Aug 21, 2022 at 8:05

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